On February 15 and 16 the Island Players on Washington Island will present seven comedies by David Ives at the Washington Hotel.
The production, Time Flies: A Matter of Life and Death, is produced by Charlotte Manning and directed by David Ranney and Carissa Mann. The ensemble of actors includes Cindra Hokkanen, Riley Johnson, Joyce Morehouse, Carissa Mann, David Ranney, Steve Reiss, Ham Rutledge, Ben Schutz, Bob Wagner, and Pat Wright.
The Ives’ one acts are hilarious, absurd, fast moving, full of puns, off-balance rhythms, and unpredictable twists; yet, underlying in these plays are serious issues and questions requiring suspended belief.
The following plays round out Time Flies: A Matter of Life and Death:
• "Time Flies" – Two mayflies meet at a party. May Mayfly brings her new friend Horace back to her (Lilly)pad. When they turn on the tube they learn from TV host David Attenborough that they only have 24 hours to "meet, eat, mate and die." How do they do that in only a single day?
• "Long Ago and Far Away" – Laura and Ruth are the same person living in two different time dimensions. Laura’s relationship to her husband Gus is trivial, frivolous; while Ruth’s relationship to Jack is deep and full of meaning but ultimately tragic. When the two dimensions briefly come together the absurdity of Laura’s relationships is exposed by the tragedy of Ruth’s relationship to Jack.
• "Variations on the Death of Trotsky" – Leon Trotsky, a leader of the Russian Revolution, has been murdered by an agent of Joseph Stalin. Trotsky lives for 24 hours after the attack, but, in this case he lives with a mountain climber’s axe in his head. What do you do for 24 hours under these circumstances? Ives offers eight possible answers.
• "Dr. Fritz Or: The Forces of Life" – When Tom, a shallow tourist gets food poisoning he goes to Dr. Fritz, only to find Maria trying to sell him souvenirs. To his disgust and shock she begins to channel a German male doctor who died 100 years ago. In the end Dr. Fritz offers Tom new choices in the way he views life and death.
• "Enigma Variations" – Bebe comes to see Bill, a psychiatrist, about the feeling she has that there is always someone else in the room. Through the mediation of Nurse Fifi who may really be Franklin Spong a gym teacher from Kankakee, Bebe and Bill find out that there is another Bebe and Bill in the room going through the same issue. Is there a dual reality that explains déja vu? Who are the men and who are the women? Who is the psychiatrist and who is the patient? Tune in to find out!
• "Degas C’est Moi, Degas C’est Moi" – The relationship of Ed and Doris is put under the microscope as Ed moves back in time 100 years to become the French artist Edgar Degas. Ed is trying to escape a life that involves unemployment and a colorless existence, while "poor Doris" toils as a secretary and is torn between the demands of her boss and domestic chores. By looking at Doris through the eyes of Degas, Ed discovers something very surprising.
• "Sure Thing" – Bill comes into a café and sees an empty chair at a table occupied by Betty who he has never met before. As these two young single people attempt to explore the possibility of some sort of relationship, they constantly say the wrong thing. Bill uses every lame and inappropriate pick-up line imaginable while Betty fends him off by making unfounded assumptions about him and his motives. But rather than these exchanges ending the encounter, they are allowed to go back a few moments in time try again and again.
The cast of 10 actors weave in and out of character roles as the plays progress, making minor set changes and costume adjustments as they go. Props cross boundaries from one play to the next, poses and gestures in one context crop up in a later one. Thus a continuity, a flow of consciousness as each play circles the possibilities of time in its own way.
There is no intermission, no interruption of this merry confrontation with conventional concepts of time.
Time Flies… a Matter of Life and Death will be presented on Washington Island at The Washington Hotel on Friday, February 15 at 7 pm and on Saturday, February 16 at 2:30 pm and 7 pm. There is limited seating and parental discretion is advised. Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at the Red Cup Coffee House and the Rec Center or by contacting producer, Charlotte Manning 920.847.2874, email: [email protected], beginning February 1.
The Washington Hotel is offering a special dinner/theatre package at $50 per person beginning at 5:30 both Friday and Saturday evenings. For reservations, call The Washington Hotel, 920.847.2169.
Island Players is taking this show to Madison, Wisconsin as well. There will be one performance on Saturday, February 23, 2008, 7:30 pm at the Oakwood Village auditorium. Contact Heidi at the Washington Hotel Coffee Room in Madison, 608.441.7599 for reservations and directions.