Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
AA welcomes 'The Seafarer'
of a wil
up on t
latest show from Sharky, a struggling alcoholic, has
come to look after his older brother
ormance Network Richard, who has recently lost his
sight in an accident. The brothers
quers its demons are joined by their friends Ivan and
Nicky, as well as a mysterious third
By JOE CADAGIN visitor.
DailyArts Writer It turns out that the visitor, who
calls himself Mr. Lockhart, is Satan
ine a rundown living room himself. When a whiskey-fueled
s obviously been the location poker game begins, Sharky learns that
d party. The carpet is littered he's not only wagering a pile of Euros,
beer cans, but also his eternal soul, which Mr.
bottles and fhe Sea iCQ Lockhart has come to collect.
ned chairs. At spooky moments throughout the
this debris, Every Thursday play, Mr. Lockhart reveals his hell-
e lies curled through Sunday ish origin to Sharky as the light dims
he floor in a until July18; and wind howls outside the house.
n stupor. timesvary It is at these moments that the play-
sounds like At Performance wright offers his harshest criticisms
cal Sunday Network Theatre of humanity and presents a devil
g at Shady Tickets from $25 struggling with his own troubles and
actually the worries, much like the humans with
scene of "The Seafarer," whom he is playing cards.
ance Network Theatre's lat- "I think the character of Lockhart
duction. This alcohol-driven is pretty special," said "Seafarer"
by Irish playwright Conor director Malcolm Tulip, a School
son will run at the Perfor- of Music, Theatre & Dance clinical
Network through July 18. assistant professor. "The devil is often
nated for a Tony Award for seen in current literature as this evil
ay in 2008, "The Seafarer" force, whereas McPherson reminds us
ace on a windy Christmas Eve in this play that he actually is a fallen
hern Dublin. Lead character angel ... He's not very pleased about
having fallen from grace and having
been sent down to hell and not being
able to get back to heaven."
Bringing Tulip's vision of "The
Seafarer" to life is a production staff
and design team composed mainly of
fellow School of MT&D staff mem-
bers, including costume designer
Christianne Myers, a clinical assis-
tant professor in the Dept. of The-
atre & Drama. For the Performance
Network's production, Myers dressed
Mr. Lockhart in a dark three-piece
suit with a fiery red pocket square. By
costuming the devil in business attire,
Myers unintentionally stumbled on
a recession-era image of the typical
"I didn't do this on purpose, but
in hindsight I realized that with our
economic climate right now, the bad
guys are the guys in suits," Myers said.
"All the powerful men wear suits, and
there's a lot of negative connotation
with that right now, and I think I
cashed in on that without even real-
In addition to being haunted by a
literal demon, Sharky also wrestles
with a metaphorical one - the bottle.
In fact, every character in "The Sea-
farer," even Mr. Lockhart, finds com-
fort in imbibing bottle after bottle of'
As the liquor continues flowing
throughout the show, characters start
to open up to each other. Through
drunken monologues and arguments,
the audience begins to learn the inner
workings of these five Irishmen.
"As damaging as alcohol may be,
there's also a release of defenses,"
Tulip said. "The social niceties tend
to disappear and you actually start
to speak your mind. Interestingly
enough, this play was written seven
years after Conor McPherson gave up
"When they think of 'Irish,' (most
Americans) think of green beer on
March the 17th," said Tulip, who
hopes that the production will expose
audience members to a new aspect of
Irish culture as well as change stereo-
types surrounding alcoholics.
"In America, alcoholism is looked
at as one of the worst social evils,"
Tulip said. "Being labeled an alco-
holic, and even labeling yourself an
alcoholic, can tend to obscure the
Just as the play's main character is
saved from a demon of hell, in "The
Seafarer," McPherson shows those
struggling with alcoholism can be
redeemed from for their own demons.
From Page 9
They're building another annex
for the company, which after 11
smash hits in a row is seeing a
level of success unprecedented in
the movie business. In 2005 Pixar
employed 750 people; now that
number is approaching 1,200. If
Alba and Weinberg are any indi-
cation, Michigan's presence at
this entertainment oasis is sure to
increase in the coming years.
>> Adam Sandler
is all "grown up"