|Joshua Lisiecki as Evan Wyler is tempted by femme fatale Alexa Vere de Vere (Hosanna Phillips)|
PHOTO: Jan Cartwright
As Bees in Honey Drown is not your typical boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-back love story. And it’s not your typical teenager-to-adult coming-of-age story. Come to think of it, Bees is not typical at all! It’s a social satire that breaks the mold of traditional comedies, focusing on the price of fame and just how far people will go to achieve their own version of success.
In the Farmington Players production (February 8 – 23 at the Barn Theater), Joshua Lisiecki plays protagonist Eric Wollenstein, a writer whose pen name is Evan Wyler. Evan has just published his first big hit book, which took him nine years to write. As Josh says, “Evan is very confident in his abilities and has a vision of what his life should look like. After meeting Alexa Vere de Vere, fame incarnate, he is swept into the life he always knew he deserved to have. Fame, money, and things on the surface seem to drive him. However, underneath this shell, everything seems to come back to love for Evan. As the film Before Sunrise sums it up: ‘Isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?’"
Josh sees Bees as a “coming of age story for Evan: the transformation of an idealistic fresh-out-of-college ideal, to a realization of what truly matters in life. When we are just out of college we are hungry for success. You have a need to truly be the best, make the most money, and be financially successful.” However, that drive to succeed sometimes runs smack into an existential crisis as young adults begin to wonder "why am I here and what is my purpose." Josh answers the “purpose” question as follows: “I think when it comes down to it, everything comes back to love. Whether it be finding love, sharing, or even just expressing love. There is something magical about love in a relationship, with family and friends, or in a religious environment. There is a purpose in love. It is love that keeps your smile going in good times and bad.” Josh observes that Evan finally figures out what truly makes him happy: “It is the connection to others. That is a feeling we can all relate to and that is why I connect so strongly to him has a character.”
Josh knows that audiences will enjoy Bees “because it keeps you on your toes. This is a fast paced show, there are quite a few twists and turns throughout, and you get to see growth from multiple characters. I always feel that a good show gets the audience truly invested in its characters and As Bees in Honey Drown does just that.”
Josh grew up in Warren, Michigan and went to college near Boston at The College of the Holy Cross. He works as a chemical engineer for Ford, and counts acting, board games, running, disc golf among his hobbies. He now lives in Ferndale with his love, Sarah Mertz, a fellow actor. This is Josh’s first experience at the Barn, and he finds his fellow cast members and crew to be “nothing short of amazing. People are so organized, care, and everyone really wants to put on a good show. This has been everything I hoped for and more. Director Mike Smith has been the director that I was waiting for. He came in with a vision and shared it with us day 1. He and A.D. Phil Hadley have been very flexible yet driven through this process. They come prepared and expect their actors to do the same, which is so hard to find. I cannot say how great they have made this experience for me as a first time Barn participant.”
As Bees in Honey Drown has nine performances at the Farmington Players Barn Theater from February 8 – 23. The show is proudly sponsored by Ameritax Plus. Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing email@example.com or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.