2022-23 season

2022-23 season

Monday, June 17, 2019

Existential Comedy is an “Epiphany” at Barn One Act Festival

David Durham and Carol Shirley-Brown reflect on their lives together in Epiphany,
an existential comedy in the Barn One Act Festival.
PHOTO:  Heather Hudson

In the Seinfeld TV series, when Jerry and George pitch their pilot to NBC executives, they describe it as a “show about nothing.”   What Seinfeld meant by “nothing” was that the show focused on the everyday existence of ordinary people.   In fact, the shared experiences of human beings living their daily lives can be fertile ground for comedy.   In the Farmington Players One Act Festival (June 21-23 at the Barn Theater), Epiphany could be considered a play where nothing really happens.  But nothing is as wonderful as discovering a life truth that has been right in front of you the whole time.

In Epiphany, David Durham and Carol Shirley-Brown play a couple that has been together for a very long time.  They sit in their breakfast nook, reading and sipping coffee.  First time director Barbara A. Bruno describes the play as “a beautiful vignette about a man who has a realization about his life and how he comes to terms with it.  What’s challenging is that it does break some of the rules of theater in terms of what you expect to see – for example, the actors never leave their chairs and there’s a great temptation to compensate for that to maintain the audience’s interest.  However, the material is so strong that it really does stand on its own and doesn’t require any theatrical tricks.”

As Barbara says about the couple, “the nest is empty, their work life is done, and they’ve settled into what’s left after all that activity of life dissipates.   David and Carol have a wonderful chemistry with each other and bring a delightful energy to the relationship of their characters and a great sense of timing.  They understand the simplicity of the piece and at the end of the day, this play is about their connection. I think everyone will be able to relate to the relationship between the two characters – there’s a familiarity to their interactions that people will recognize.” 

So what is the great “epiphany” that the man discovers about his life?   Well, you’ll just have to come see the play to learn that.  But, as Barbara says, Epiphany is about “what is important to us, how our priorities shift over time, how we adjust to those, and how we grow, both as individuals and in relation to those around us.  Ultimately, however, it’s a love story.”  And that’s certainly not nothing!

The One Act Festival has 3 scheduled performances at the Farmington Players Barn Theater on June 21 (8:00), June 22 (8:00) and June 23 (2:00). Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing boxoffice@farmingtonplayers.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.

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