When: Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sundays, 5-7 p.m. Continues through Dec. 18 2016
These days, we've all got a lot of questions we want answered — questions about life, love, our government, how we ended up here and what we need to do to get someplace better. That's why Colton Cobal, director of COUNTER/Weight Theatre Lab's new show, says this play is particularly timely.
Your Fathers? Where are they? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? (originally a Dave Eggers novel) was adapted for this production by stage manager Rachel Fey. It follows the journey of one young man as he kidnaps an astronaut, a congressman and others who he hopes can answer all of life's questions for him — only to find that their answers don't satisfy. More than that, the new questions that arise from these interrogations become overwhelming, and he decides he'd rather just run away from it all.
We've all been there, though maybe without the kidnapping part.
"He's this kind of millennial character," Cobal says, "and he's going through these struggles with identity and with the realization he's going to die one day." Cobal says the protagonist, Thomas, is scared. Scared of death, the government, police brutality, "all things that are relevant right now."
The relevance, however, is only one of the reasons COUNTER/Weight chose to adapt this particular novel. Cobal says they wanted a dramatic script, and one that focused not on the technical aspects of theater, but on the people. "We tried to do a play that was the nitty-gritty of theater, actor-on-actor interaction."
Your Fathers? is definitely that. "I've never seen a play done like this," Cobal says, "where you just have these two-person scenes and all the characters are only interacting through one character the entire time." Moreover, since one of them is always tied up, only Thomas has the freedom to move around. Add in the fact that the whole thing takes place in a warehouse on an abandoned military base, and that doesn't leave much but the actors themselves to carry the show.
That's why Cobal says they came out of auditions with some excellent local talent. With Alexander Risk, Brian Mann, Mark Cannon and Emma Colligan playing the captives, plus COUNTER/Weight artistic director Ethan Everhart in the lead role, they have a cast that can pull its weight.
Fair warning: This is going to be a rough one. The themes are very adult, and the protagonist isn't the only one who might not like the answers to his questions. But if nothing else it will make you think, and every revelation starts with a question, doesn't it?
7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 5 p.m. Sundays; through Dec. 18, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave., $6-$10, counterweighttheatre.com.
Price: $10, $6 for students