Mystery fills the Acting Company with ‘Melons'
September 7, 2006 - It's the night after in an upscale San Francisco hotel room.
A man, Colm, has spent the night with a woman, Evie. Colm treats the encounter as more than a one-night-stand and still carries emotional baggage from the death of his wife four years ago.
Evie (played by Renee DeGarmo) is sympathetic and agrees to stay with him. As time progresses, however, Colm (played by Matt Coats) realizes Evie is not who she appears.
Who is she? You'll just have to see “Melons” to find out.
The play, the fifth written by local playwright Curt Schroeder, begins its run at The Acting Company on Friday.
Rounding out the cast is Larissa Boland as Sam, Colm's wife; Alex Mazerolle as Hannah, Colm and Sam's daughter; and Nick Clavel as Adam, Evie's other half.
“I call (‘Melons') sort of a modern retelling of the Adam and Eve story - their life before their fall from grace,” said Schroeder, who is also the play's director. “Melons” covers the existential angst that results from Colm's depression.
The idea for the story came as a departure from Schroeder's first play, “cleave,” whose title comes from the idea of a few words in the English language that can mean one thing and the opposite. The word “cleave” means both to split and to come together.
For “Melons,” the story is related to the idea that “in our universe, there's the yin and the yang, and they're in conflict, never coming in harmony with each other,” Schroeder said. “This is part of the existential angst because it relates to theories like the big bang theory, where we just appear without any explanation for why we're here.”
Despite the philosophical questions that arise in the play, Schroeder said the story will be accessible to all audiences.
“(The story has) conflicts and themes that are common to all people, such as a death in the family, sickness and concern for a mother with cancer,” he said. “Those are the central themes (of ‘Melons') dressed in a mystery.”
The play also contains a lot of humor. “There are some scenes that a lot of people involved with the show still laugh at even though they've been rehearsing them a lot,” Schroeder said.
The experience of producing his own play has been one of the more unique, Schroeder said. Since the play is original, the actors have the advantage of being able to put their own stamp on the roles; with a play such as “Hamlet,” for example, the actors could watch the performances of other actors as a reference point.
“With ‘cleave,' it was kind of a humbling experience that people are taking the words I wrote seriously. “When the actors take on a role in an original play, they get to know the character better than you, the writer, do,” Schroeder said.
“People will enjoy (this play) on many different levels - the existential angst, the mystery and the clues planted in the story and the humor. ... And I'm sure the title has intrigued some people.”
When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sundays; runs to Oct. 1
Where: The Acting Company, 815 B St., Yuba City.
Tickets: $15. Call 751-1100.