Maine West High School will present its spring play “Disassembly
,” a contemporary dark comedy set in New York City, on April 20, 21 and 22.
The production opens with a fable in which a fox tricks a crow into dropping a piece of cheese, which the fox quickly swallows before dispensing this moral: “Everyone lies, and you’d better get used to it.” Which sets the stage for a story in which seven decidedly strange people put their eccentricities and scheming on display through a series of surprising twists and turns.
From one synopsis: “Evan is what you would call ‘accident-prone.’ Having suffered from various injuries his entire life, he's now been randomly stabbed. In his apartment, his twin sister and his fiancée are trying to help him recover while fending off a steady stream of visitors and a bitter neighbor with a thing for stuffed cats. Something isn't quite adding up though. As the morning descends into a buzz of secrets and lies, this dark farce quickly becomes a brutally funny commentary on how, under the right circumstances, violence can take hold of just about anyone.’ ”
Maine West theater teacher and Director David Harmon offers his own description: “If ‘Friends’
were a dark comedy and some of the characters were attempting to kill off the others, that would be the show.”
The presentation, which Mr. Harmon calls “PG-13” features an impressive fight sequence, one for which actors have worked with fight choreographer Mark Penzien. And while the comedy is on the dark side, the play does not simply depict bad people doing bad things. “It’s very much about how far you’ll go to protect someone you love.” Mr. Harmon explains. “It’s an interesting thematic coincidence because it is similar in theme to ‘Little Shop of Horrors’
” (which was Maine West’s musical this year).
Performed on a small set, “Disassembly
” puts young actors to the test of performing in an intimate setting, where, as Mr. Harmon explains “you cannot hide behind your acting choices. It’s very challenging as an actor to be that available to an audience member who is right there. It’s been a really good challenge for them with that kind of material.”
The play moves at a snappy pace, lasting only an hour and 15 minutes. In addition to Harmon’s direction, technical direction is by Ian Scarlato. Kate Murphy is designing costumes, and Aryanna Torres is student director.
Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:00 p.m. Mr. Harmon advises theater-goers to get tickets early for the 4 p.m. Thursday matinee. Students may purchase tickets in the bookstore.