Entertainment » Theatre

Zombieapocalypse? This Time at the Trinity

by Joe Siegel
Contributor
Tuesday Apr 2, 2013
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Trinity Repertory Company is hosting the world premiere of "Social Creatures," a drama set in a post apocalypse from Jackie Sibblies Drury - a graduate of the Brown MFA playwriting program. The production runs through Apr. 21.

"Social Creatures" is set in the aftermath of an international pandemic that has wiped out most of humanity. A motley group of survivors is trying desperately to avoid contracting the illness that turns people into something indescribable. Playwright Sibblies Drury explains it best saying that, of course, the media would have dubbed the infected as "zombies," because it sensationalized what was going on. But after time passed and as more and more people fell victim and as society began to break down, "nobody would talk about any of it at all."

The eight-person cast features longtime Trinity Rep company members Timothy Crowe and Janice Duclos, guest artists D’Arcy Dersham, Alexander Platt and Nance Williamson and Brown/Trinity MFA graduates Darien Battle, Rebecca Gibel and Charlie Thurston.


An American Scrooge

Crowe spoke with EDGE about his role in "Social Creatures." The veteran actor has been performing for more than 40 years. He has appeared in 90 productions, including "A Christmas Carol," "The School for Wives," "Angels in America," "My Fair Lady" and "Macbeth."

In "Social Creatures," Crowe plays Mr. Johnson, "a man who is very gruff and very opinionated. He’s almost an American version of a Scrooge to an extent."

Crowe is excited to be a part of the production that has never been staged before.

"It’s part of our mission to do new work whenever possible," Crowe explained. "Jackie Sibblies Drury is a very promising young woman, very smart, and she has a very unique take on things. I think (Trinity Rep’s Artistic Director) Curt Columbus made a wise decision to give her a mainstage production."

Crowe didn’t set out to be become an actor. He recalls watching a PBS Shakespeare production featuring Laurence Olivier, which motivated him to become an actor. "I understood it. It was funny. It was scary, and it was completely grounded. That experience was very seminal in my consideration of pursuing acting."

Crowe thinks audiences will leave "Social Creatures" with a lot to consider about the state of the world.

"Some people say the best art doesn’t give solutions, it asks questions," Crowe said, noting ’Social Creatures’ "asks some very basic questions about who we are as human beings, who we are as a society, and what we are doing to our world.

"I knew that Jackie’s interest lay not in creating a traditional zombie thriller - although there will be plenty of blood for those that are hoping for that - but also questioning our true nature, and where the true monsters are found," Artistic Director Chris Columbus said. "The best thing about Jackie is that she can layer all of this social commentary into a play that is wildly funny."

"Social Creatures" runs through Apr. 21, 2013 in Trinity Rep’s Dowling Theater. Regular and discounted tickets for Social Creatures are on sale now for $28-68 at the Trinity Rep box office, 201 Washington St.; by phone at (401) 351-4242; and online at www.trinityrep.com.


Joe Siegel has written for a number of other GLBT publications, including In newsweekly and Options.

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