Monday, October 23, 2006

Conor McPherson's The Weir in Franklin Saturday

This weekend, TiLT (Theatre in the Little Theatre) will be performing Conor McPherson's The Weir as a special Halloween treat. The performance is at Franklin's Barrow Civic Little Theatre (1223 Liberty St, Franklin PA 16323). Doors open around 7:30pm,and the cover is $3 with a cash bar. The show starts at 8 pm, has a ten minute intermission and runs about 1 hour 20 minutes (wihout intermission).

Conor McPherson has a knack for storytelling. And it is storytelling that is at the heart of The Weir, a chilling study in human nature and human relationships.

The ghost stories told by all but one of the characters in The Weir are personal stories, made more personal by how they deal with them. Jack (Michael Molitoris), Jim (Kim Tarr), and Finbar (Michael Dittman) are regulars in a local Irish pub owned by Brendan (Kevin Berry). Finbar, the local real estate magnate, has sold a house to Valerie (Amy Dittman), a woman from Dublin.

The stories in The Weir are creepy and entertaining, but there is a sadness inherent in them, because the men that tell their stories seem not to believe them themselves. A Weir is a dam, something that holds something else from overflowing, and it is Valerie's story that pulls down the Weir, injecting an emotional element into these men's lives - one that has never existed before. These are people possessed by the past - or rather by hallucinations, an eerie sense of things knocking in the night, and a phone call from someone speaking in the voice of dead child. No one leaves this play unchanged.

It is a beautifully crafted and compassionate piece, dealing with love, loss and loneliness. It works because one believes so intensely in the characters that one shares the experiences they talk of, because it contains at its heart a shattering event and because it demonstrates the healing potential of storytelling.

The Weir contains (lots of) adult language and may be inappropriate for those 16 and under.

In other news:
The Post Gazette profiles Erie-NY wineries

Joann Wheeler continues to more than earn her money - she's got a film competition in the works for Venango County!

No comments: