FUNNY YET INTENSE
PLAYLOVERS, one of WA’s most awarded community theatre groups, is continuing to survive with the aid of the Old Mill Theatre.
The theatre has offered its beautiful venue for this season’s production of Other Desert Cities written by Jon Robin Baitz and directed by Barry Park.
The play is a richly satisfying, fine-tuned contemporary play that effectively balances comedy with intense family drama.
Winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play and a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize, Baitz’s play examines the lies people tell to protect each other and the damage they cause.
“The greatest challenge with an absorbing play like this is to cast it well,” Park said.
“I have assembled an extremely strong cast of outstanding seasoned actors who fully understand the nuances of the text and play their roles to perfection.”
Along with Sally Barendse as Brooke Wyeth, there is Cate Jennings as her controlling, mother Polly; Dean McAskil her protective, Republican ex-Hollywood film star father Lyman; Chandra Wyatt, her supportive recovering alcoholic aunt Silda; and Steven Hounsome, her laidback TV producer brother Trip.
Other Desert Cities is set in 2004, when American opinion was split over the decision to invade Iraq.
There was political unease worldwide and there were mass public protests.
The political divide between the characters is clear.
Polly and Lyman are both very conservative, with Polly making strong, brazen statements throughout, which Brooke and Silda vehemently oppose.
Steven Hounsome and Sally Barendse in Other Desert Cities.