By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Northborough – For their final production this year, the Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) Dramahawks will be presenting “Journey to Absurdity.” The show is a collection of short plays beginning with the simplicity of a Thorton Wilder play (where no props are used) and gradually become more abstract and absurd. The production ends with a play written by master playwright Eugene Ionesco where, according to teacher Tom Alera, who is directing the show, nothing is as it seems. Works from other playwrights included in the production include Anton Chekhov, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Christopher Durang.
Currently in his 16th year at ARHS, Alera teaches Russian/European Literature, AP English, British Literature, and American Literature.
“The choice of plays in this production is one that I believe will engage the audience in an entertaining way as it gradually prepares for the world of the absurd,” said Alera. “As the plays go on – the absurdity does as well. I created the additional role of a narrator as a way to entertain and educate along the way, as well as bring the audience into the world of each play.”
For the spring production, Alera typically chooses productions that tackle challenging works that make a difference, that cause the audience to think about their place in the world and help them to look at issues and theater that matter. This production is no exception.
“Performing plays by Beckett, Pinter, and Ionesco are not easy tasks. It takes actors and directors who are willing to expose themselves to a world of challenging and provocative theater and present it to an audience with a particular vision and style,” he said. “It’s a journey that many high school and theater companies want to take, but never do. The actors you will see offered to take that journey, allowing themselves to enter a world of characterization, language, and meaning rightly titled ‘absurd.’”
Unlike traditional seating for performances, the audience for Journey to Absurdity will surround the stage in what is referred to as “arena seating” (or “thrust seating”) which offers a way to bring viewers closer to the actors, the action and the world of absurdity.
Performances for Journey to Absurdity will take place in the ARHS Small Performance Theater on Thursday, May 28, Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30, at 7 p.m. each day. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.