February 25, 02

Vol. 17 , No. 08   


View Entire Issue (Vol. 17 , No. 08)


Interact Theater Company: The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt
ANITA KHANZADIAN, director
DOUG BALLARD, narrator, guard, station master, bailiff
GREG WHITE, man one, ticket master, hofbauer
LANCE DAVIS, man two, Koby, a blind eunuch
JAMES CALVERT, man three, painter, Loby, a blind eunuch, doctor
SANDY KENYON, mayor
JAMES GLEASON, school master
MICHAEL MANUEL, priest
STEVEN GILBORN, Alfred Ill
MARILYN MCINTYRE, Claire Zachanassian
DON FISCHER, husbands VII - IX
J. DOWNING, Butler baby, first reporter, radio commentator
DAVE FLOREK, policeman
DAVID MAUER, Roby/guitarist, Ill's son, cameraman
CAROLE GOLDMAN, Mrs. Ill, woman one
RACHAEL HARRIS, Annie Dummermutt, Ill's daughter, woman two
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2002

. . . [W]e no longer find tragic heroes, but only tragedies staged by world butchers. . . [P]ower today is only minimally visible, since like an iceberg the largest part is sunk in faceless abstraction.

-Friedrich Durrenmatt

Swiss-born playwright Friedrich Durrenmatt (1921-1990) scoffed at critics' relentless search for symbolism, allegory, and topical allusion in his plays. "Misunderstandings creep in," he once remarked, "because people desperately search the hen yard of my drama for the egg of explanation which I steadfastly refuse to lay." Despite that authorial rebuff, one can hardly fail to notice in Durrenmatt's plays the disquiet and angst that, along with more palpable misery, afflicted much of the world throughout the most war-ravaged century in recorded history. In Der Besuch der Alten Dame ("The Visit of the Old Woman"), first staged in 1956, inhabitants of a fictional village find their moral and ethical principles put to a severe test, only to see those values compromised and finally eroded by the inexorable urgencies of poverty and ruin.

ln its continuing commitment to bring artistic, cultural, and musical events to the community, the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies proudly sponsor the Interact Theatre Company's dramatic reading of Durrenmatt's The Visit. Interact, which last year brought its splendid ensemble reading of Anouilh's Antigone to the Athenaeum, is an independent collective, formed in North Hollywood in the early 1990s by transplanted, experienced New York stage actors. Since its first productions in 1992, it has received 53 awards and 91 nominations for its achievements in the theater. These include 17 nominations from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, four Theatre LA Ovation Awards (from nine nominations), five Back Stage West Garland Awards (as well as ten Honorable Mentions), and 22 Drama-Logue Awards. The Los Angeles Times has called Interact "one of the true theatre successes of the 90s," while Back Stage West has praised it for "sustained excellence in theatre."

Interact's repertory has been as comprehensive and exploratory as its community outreach. The annual Interactivity Festival, begun in 1994, has brought nearly 140 plays (classic, modern, and experimental), featuring over 350 actors, to some 5000 patrons. Interplay, a Children's Theater Workshop, affords culturally diverse and artistically underserved youth and their parents the opportunity to explore their natural creativity under the guidance and encouragement of skilled theater artisans.