‘Seascape’ paints unusual picture

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Edward Albee is one of the greatest living American playwrights, but you probably haven’t heard that name before.

Much like better known playwrights — Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard and Thornton Wilder — Albee has won multiple Pulitzer Prizes as a playwright. His most notable work is “Seascape.”

A rare opportunity to see this play presents itself through the production of Laugh/Riot Theatre Company based in Edinboro, Pa.

The play itself houses a few thought-provoking questions about biological and personal evolution and emphasizes that the journey we may take is more important in and of itself than the destination.

The story of Albee’s “Seascape” opens with characters Nancy and Charlie, an older couple, on the beach. At this point in their lives they are retired and their children are grown and have children of their own.

The two are having a later-life crisis trying to figure out what to do with their remaining years. Charlie just wants to lounge and sleep whereas Nancy wants adventure and to reinvigorate their once passionate marriage.

While on the beach the couple encounters two human-size lizards that, incredibly enough, speak English. The lizards have come up from the ocean depths searching for a new experience as they have recently begun to feel out of place with their own kind.

The two couples share stories of their lives and try to bridge the rather large gap between their worlds through conversation in an awkward, yet comical, way.

“Seascape” is described as “timeless.” The messages of acceptance and change are ones that apply to all walks of life, mammal or reptilian.

Zach Hyman, a freshman theatre and communication arts major said, “I think it’s an interesting show and not something you would expect. It’s cool that Albee uses the lizards as a vehicle to make the seemingly average life crisis extrordinary. It sounds like a trip.”

The show is directed by Taylor and produced by Laugh/Riot with a mixture of student and community members in the theater company.

This production features Ben Robson and Jessie Connick as the humans. Jordanna Wallace and J.D. Mizikowski play the walking, talking lizards.

Mizikowski has been a face seen often in Schuster Theatre productions and said the motivation of Laugh/Riot for selecting this particular show was to incorporate a specific and concise theme for the whole season.

“During our second season, Laugh/Riot embarked on dark path with our Season of Cruelty,” Mizikowski said. “While we got to explore a lot of great ideas and shows we wanted to change things up for our third season.”

Mizikowski said this year’s theme is “Season of Wonderment.”

“Doing both Alice shows as a bookends for the season and looking for other shows that fit in that loose theme,” Mizikowski said, “Shaun Taylor suggested doing ‘Seascape’  with two giant talking lizards. It certainly fits that theme.”

Performances of the show may be seen at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and Feb. 5-7 and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

All shows will be held at Dibold Performing Arts Center on the campus of Edinboro University at 219 Meadville St., Edinboro.

General admission is $10 and $5 for staff, seniors and non Edinboro students.

The next Laugh/Riot production can be seen at the Schuster Theatre 8 p.m. on Feb. 16 and 18.

“Bedtime Stories” will be performed in association with the fifth annual Erie Fringe Festival.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or at www.laughrioterie.com.

For more information email [email protected] or visit their Facebook page.

 

BRIANNA WOODS

[email protected]