DramaCentre explores life's choices

September 26, 2004|JENNIFER BRUMMETT

Life, choices and time are the central components of DramaCentre's early fall production of "Time and the Conways," which opens Wednesday in Weisiger Theatre.

Director Anthony R. Haigh says the play's crux is similar to that of the films "Sliding Doors, "Family Man" and "The Butterfly Effect."

"The theme of this play is how life is different if we make other choices," he explains.

"There is the notion that is cast in the play that there are multiple versions of time co-existing."

The structure of the play follows that idea, Haigh adds.

In 1919, the Conways celebrate a happy reunion at the end of World War I with hope and optimism. The play then fast-forwards nearly 20 years to 1938, when the audience sees the bitterness and blighted lives of the Conway children and the uncertain circumstances of their mother. Is this what really happens to the Conways or can their futures be changed?


Says Haigh, "'Time and the Conways' offers a look at a group of young people who are optimistic about their future, very much like students are at college now. The play explores what happens to those ideals and aspirations."

Play written by Priestley

"Time and the Conways," by J.B. Priestley, is a nice, well-made play that uses simple storytelling techniques, Haigh notes.

"And there's a resurgence of interest in J. B. Priestley's work," he says.

"After doing some new work and a big work, I wanted to do a well-made play. There are good, meaty roles for actors in this play."

An English journalist, poet and novelist, Priestley wrote a trilogy of plays concerned with time and its effects. "Time and the Conways" is the most famous of the trilogy.

Haigh says there are "intense, well-developed characters" in "Time and the Conways."

"That has been perhaps the most exciting part of the work."

The casting for the show was done last spring. The student actors spent the summer learning their lines and arrived on campus a week early to begin rehearsal for this Family Weekend performance.

"We began rehearsal on day one by starting work on the characters," Haigh notes. "The cast has worked hard and ... there are interesting moments and meanings."

The play could have gone up a few weeks ago, he adds. With additional rehearsals, the show has reached "a new level."

The cast includes: Karen M. Biscopink, Adam T. Brown, Elizabeth O. Cornell, Eric Joshua Davis, Julia M. Leist, Colin Michael McCann, Erin C. McGuire, Joe T. Mitchell, Kate Pieratt and Rachel White.

Haigh is professor of dramatic arts and chair of the Division of Arts and Humanities at Centre College. He is president of the Southeastern Theatre Conference. A native of England, he has directed for the Lexington Shakespeare Festival, Creed Repertory, Abbey Theatre Durango and others.

If You Want To Go:

"Time and the Conways" runs at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday. For tickets, call (859) 236-4692

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