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Arts & Entertainment Presented by Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts

Arts

Dos Pueblos’ Fall Play Weighs the Personal Price in ‘The Visit’

Current events provide a sobering cast to the Charger Theater production.

By Clark Sayre |

Skyler Bible, as Anton Schill, and Quinn Sosna-Spear, as Claire Zachanniasssian, star in Dos Pueblos High's production of <i>The Visit</i>” width=“540” height=“404” /><div class=Skyler Bible, as Anton Schill, and Quinn Sosna-Spear, as Claire Zachanniasssian, star in Dos Pueblos High’s production of The Visit. (Tyler Gilbert photo)

Amid a climate of financial crisis and uncertainty, Dos Pueblos High’s Charger Theater will present a timely fall production, Freidrich Dürrenmatt‘s The Visit.

The play is set in Gullen — a town with factories closing, high unemployment, homes foreclosing and people more and more in debt.

“Just think of Gullen as today’s ‘Anywhere USA’ and you’d be pretty close to the mark,” said director Clark Sayre. “We couldn’t have chosen a better play to present during this historic moment. The audience will feel a lot closer to these people than they ever would have felt even just a few short weeks ago — making The Visit more personal, immediate and ultimately more terrifying.”

Into this depressed setting arrives a hometown girl-turned-billionairess named Claire Zachanniasssian (Quinn Sosna-Spear), who offers to pay the citizens of Gullen $1 billion, but with one catch: They must kill Anton Schill (Skyler Bible), her ex-lover who caused her to leave the town in shame many years ago. With her wealth, she demands that justice be restored. The town’s mayor (Matt Parker), Policeman (Eric Capello and Parker Wright), Pastor (Evan Bell), Teacher (Lee Weinsoff and Caitlin Brezinski) and all the townspeople vow to stand behind Schill. The remainder of the play deals with the townspeople’s struggle between their own financial survival and the higher moral issue at hand.

Dos Pueblos’ production of The Visit utilizes the collaborative efforts of students and professionals in many unique ways. Student musicians Nanda Douglas, Marwan El-Abbadi, Kevin Parker, Ray Cothern, Katie Fearon, Stuart Sherwin and Phillip Hodgson have worked closely with professional musician and Lit Moon Theatre Company musical director Jim Connoly to create their own original score. The score interweaves with and comments on the action. Actors work alongside the student musicians and Sayre, offering staging and conceptual suggestions, which are often incorporated into the show. The lighting design is by senior Gabe Rives-Corbett, who works with professionals like renowned artist Rafael Perea de la Cabada, Opera Santa Barbara costume designer Miller James and Stage Left master carpenter David Guy to create the visual world of the play in a stylized and expressionistic manner.

The Visit is the first drama to be performed in the Dos Pueblos High Performing Arts Center, 7266 Alameda Ave., following the sold-out premier musical production of Beauty and the Beast last spring.

Performances are 7 p.m. Nov. 15, 20, 21 and 22, with an additional matinee at 2 p.m. Nov. 22. Tickets are $10 general admission and $8.50 for students and seniors. Click here to purchase tickets online or visit the school’s business office, which is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. For more information, e-mail Sayre at [email protected]

Parents are advised that there is some mature PG-13 content.

Clark Sayre is director of Dos Pueblos High’s Charger Theater.




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