Content note: and now we wait includes mature themes, including references to death and violence.
Villanova Players presented Stephanie Clark’s dark drama and now we wait at the Ron Hurley Theatre as part of their Villanova Start-Ups initiative, which is designed to help young people and emerging artists (actors, directors, technical artists) develop their skills, and their own production, from the ground up.
First time director Lillian Dowdell crafted a tense and stirring production of Clark’s grim 2015 play, which centres on a fictional school shooting in Victoria. Hiding between racks of costumes in the school theatre, five students are trapped while a gunman, one of their classmates, stalks the school grounds. As they wait to be either rescued or discovered, tensions rise, secrets spill, and the teenagers contemplate their lives, identities, friendships, relationships…and wonder if they are all about to end.
Ashleigh Horsfield was a standout performer in the role of Rose, and the entire cast – which included Beth Allen, Samuel Connolly, Michaela Gallagher, and Cale Dennis – gave impressive and committed performances. The play touched on difficult themes, from gun violence and mortality to survivor’s guilt, and these were all managed well.
Despite some minor technical issues in the play’s opening, AV and sound design were used very effectively to set the scene, tying the play’s action to current world events and placing it in context. A total blackout with audio overlay was an especially impactful start to the performance, and lighting design by Reuben Stewart was used to spotlight characters during monologues as well as to shift the mood onstage. The script unravelled in a slow and satisfying way, with monologues intercutting dialogue and group scenes to reveal more information or deepen the audience’s understanding of a character.
and now we wait is a heavy piece of theatre tackling a highly topical issue, but Villanova Players presented it without sensationalism, focusing on the immediate emotion and small dramas of the teenage characters’ lives.
and now we wait will play at the Ron Hurley Theatre, Seven Hills, from 22 – 24 July 2022.
For ticketing and further information, visit the Villanova Players website
Leave a Reply