Friday, September 28, 2018
With a cozy 212-seat theater venue to perform before local audiences, the Providence Players are bringing award-winning D.C. area playwright John Strand to its stage. Strand is in residence at D.C.’s Arena Stage with its New Play Institute. The Providence Players will be presenting Strand’s “Lovers and Executioners,” a blend of classic swashbuckling entertainment with a contemporary flair as a woman takes revenge on men for their lack of decency to her.
“Lover and Executioners” begins as a husband thinks he has discovered evidence that his wife has been unfaithful. He abandons her on a desert isle, expecting her to die. But she escapes and returns three years later disguised as a man. She manages to have herself appointed judge and promptly brings her husband to trial for the murder of his wife. The play focuses on the very serious questions of justice and revenge.
John Strand’s “Lovers and Executioners” received the prestigious D.C. area Helen Hayes Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play.
Asked about producing “Lovers and Executioners” veteran Providence Players director Beth Hughes-Brown praised the script for “its accessibility, relevancy and the style – written with rhyming couplets. It is funny, beautifully-written and relevant. How could we go wrong?
“This show is sassy, saucy, and even sometimes serious,” added Hughes-Brown. “It touches on truth and loyalty, love between spouses, betrayal, and (maybe) murder.”
Director Hughes-Brown indicated that the audience will “find themselves laughing out loud sometimes, and truly caring about real humans in extraordinary circumstances in the next moment. It will be surprisingly emotionally cathartic.
“Without giving away any plot twist, I'd love it if they debate ‘what happens next’ over drinks, after the show, or at home over coffee the next morning,” said Hughes-Brown. “It will lift you up, and knock you back down – then lift you up again. Swords and off-center jokes – what could possibly go wrong?”
The seven member cast includes Kirstin K. Apker in her Providence Players debut as Julie, the deserted wife. She portrays not only Julie, but Frederic, when she disguises herself as a man. The character of Julie’s husband Bernard is played by Chris Persil. The cast includes Jaclyn Robertson, Joshua McCreary, Emily-Grace Rowson, Chuck O’Toole and Scotty Stofko.
“Lovers and Executioners” is chock full of plot twists and word play and whipped up energy. It is also thoughtful and asks some delicious questions about justice.
Performances: Oct. 5 to 20, 2018. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday matinees, Oct. 7 and 14, 2018 at 2 p.m. Tickets $20 Adults, $17 Students/Seniors. All Seating is reserved. Call 703-425-6782 or go to www.providenceplayers.org/tickets/