Thursday, November 04, 2010

playland | province article and video | OPENS NOV. 5

This week we had the treat of hosting Hans Ongsansoy and Gerry Karhmann from The Province.  They chatted with Anthony F. Ingram about PLAYLAND and shot some video of the rehearsal.  Below is the article that came out today (read it in its original context here), or check out the video here.

Vancouver now has two Playlands.

Of course, one is the amusement park at the PNE you know and love. The other is a play that’s actually set at an amusement park.

But that’s where the similarities between the two end.

Playland the stage production takes place on New Year’s Eve, 1989, in South Africa. It’s still a few weeks before Nelson Mandela’s release and the first steps toward apartheid reform. The country is at the apex of its civil unrest.

Enter actors Tom Pickett as a black carnival worker and Michael Kopsa as a white ex-soldier who somehow keep bumping into each other and you have a recipe for sparks.

Amazingly, however, you also have a recipe for dialogue, greater understanding and, possibly, hope?

“It’s two people who are trying to resolve issues of their past, which are tied into the cultural past of South Africa and the racism that went on,” says director Anthony F. Ingram. “So they’re both guilty of crimes against the other race.

“They’re seeking some kind of personal reconciliation for what they’ve done and also bridge that gap of racism and see the other person as a human being rather than someone of a different colour.”

Ingram credits South African playwright Athol Fugard, and his ability to take political issues and show how they might play out on a personal level, for the story’s underlying positivity.

“Let’s move forward and work on reclaiming what was lost, and we expect you to help us do that, and we want to give you something that is maybe better than what you have — um, I mean that’s utopia, right?” says Ingram. “My rational brain says there’s no way that can happen, but, I think, Fugard somehow says, yes, it can.”<

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