Village Players to debut ‘Village After Dark’ seriesWritten by Chase Will | | firstname.lastname@example.org
For anyone who’s ever been conned out of money, there’s always a lingering question: What would make a person do this?
“As Bees in Honey Drown” — the first production in The Village Players’ new The Village After Dark series — is a farce that explores the price of chasing fame.
“It’s about a socialite who sweeps in and finds this brand new prodigy of an author and promises him the moon and stars to write the story of her life,” said director Jake Gordy. “He follows her around until all of a sudden she disappears. Then he finds out she’s really not who she presented herself as.”
Landon Tavernier plays Evan Wyler, the author with big dreams. After nine years of working on a novel, he jumps at the grandiose presentation of Alexa Vere de Vere, the manipulator.
“Vere de Vere lets his thirst for success overcome his decision making,” Tavernier said.
Most of the six actors involved play multiple characters. Throughout the show, the story of Alexa is revealed through conversations with others she’s cheated.
“I play Morris Kaden, who ran into Alexa and was conned by her at one point in his career,” said actor Evan James Copeland. “He’s the person who gives Evan the 411 on Alexa.”
“It’s kind of an interesting study in self-invention,” said actress Laura Crawford, who plays multiple roles. “She invented this mix of characters from old movies and put them together to be able to do what she does. As much as you might not like her character, you can’t help but be fascinated by the fact she’s invented this version of herself that makes people want to follow her.”
Derek Hansen, who plays a painter named Mike, claims Alexa is able to manipulate artists mainly because of their pursuit for fame over art.
“Mike is probably the most psychologically healthy person in the entire show because he doesn’t want to be famous,” Hansen said. “He says, ‘This is what I want out of life: I want to paint, and when I’m done painting I want to go out with my friends and have a couple beers; if the painting goes bad we’ll all lament, and if it goes well we’ll all rejoice.’ That’s all he wants out of life.”
Comedic elements are also present within the show. Crawford, for example, craftily presents the character Amber, whose repetitive line is, “Amber wants to dance.”
“She’s one of my favorites because she’s ridiculous, and you can do so much with that one line,” Crawford said. Fans of this year’s film “Guardians of the Galaxy” will likely agree.
According to assistant director Chris Jagodzinski, The Village After Dark is a concert reading program that presents shows in their “rawest and truest forms.”
“There’s minimal set pieces, minimal props, and actors will have scripts onstage,” Jagodzinski said.
Jagodzinski said he expects this program will draw younger audiences than The Village Players’ regular season. He credits this to the avant garde nature of these adult-themed shows.
“Not every show will be full of adult language and situations, but we’re showcasing shows that are more on the edge than our normal season,” Jagodzinski said.
The Village After Dark is also seeking original works from local authors. These may be submitted as PDF documents at www.thevillageplayers.org.
“As Bees in Honey Drown” plays Oct. 3-4. Tickets are $10, available at the door.