Pier One takes a turn for the serious

‘Hit and Run’ dramatizes accident backlash

By Randi Somers
Homer Tribune

 HOMER TRIBUNE/Randi Somers - Dr. Steven (Ken Lanfield), Officer Jackson (Cody Gains), Robert (Peter Sheppard) and his wife (Leeza Mastre) examine clues.

HOMER TRIBUNE/Randi Somers - Dr. Steven (Ken Lanfield), Officer Jackson (Cody Gains), Robert (Peter Sheppard) and his wife (Leeza Mastre) examine clues.

Unlike the more lighthearted fare featured earlier this summer, Pier One Theatre’s opening of “Hit and Run” this Friday explores the grief and guilt associated with a tragic accident involving a young boy. The play explores the repercussions of the accident on the driver, his family and associates in a serious drama that could be classified as a tragedy.
Driving home in a dense fog after taking his secretary to dinner, Robert (Peter Sheppard), accidentally hits a boy on a bicycle. And – although the outing with his co-worker was innocent – Robert doesn’t admit to his “crime” because his secretary is engaged to a very jealous man and she fears he will assume she is having an affair with her boss.
Conflicts and revelations throughout the play are bound to keep audiences keenly attentive and trying to guess what comes next.
With a mostly young cast and a young director, Marc Oliver, the play was shaping up nicely in rehearsal last week with Pier One Artistic Director Lance Petersen providing back-up coaching.
The players, except Lanfield who is a veteran of theater in Homer, are between the ages of 14 and 21, and director Oliver is 18.
Asked about his theater background, Oliver said he was heavily involved in the drama, debate and forensics program throughout high school here, as well as with Pier One Youth Theatre.
Oliver has been in several Pier One shows over the years, including ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ at the beginning of the season. He also worked with Pier One and the DDF team in May, directing the play “Mixed Nuts,” and said he has been directing an independent film project over this summer called “Edge.”
“Hit and Run” is the second play he has directed.
“I stumbled on this play in the spring when I was going through the high school’s library of plays, and I really couldn’t put it down,” Oliver  explained. “The script is really gripping. And I would definitely call this the darkest, most powerful play that’s been put on this summer.”
It’s also the first tragedy Pier One has produced in a few years.
“As for challenges, I’ve really only worked with comedy and light drama up until this play, so working with a tragedy has been a completely different dynamic,” he explained. “It has required an energy completely different from lighter fare. It is very engaging in a different way than the funny stuff.”
During rehearsals, Oliver coached actors on several aspects of their staging, including pause and pacing.
“It’s quite opposite of comedy,” he told them. “A lot can be expressed in a longer pause.”
“Hit and Run” was written by Mary Oldham (not the local resident). It will run this weekend and next at Pier One Theatre on the Homer Spit.

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Posted by on Aug 12th, 2009 and filed under Theater. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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