Florida Players stage dark comedy this weekend
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Emails. Facebook notifications. Tweets. In the 21st century, as soon as one text message is sent, another arrives with a chime of a smartphone. The stream of news feeds, Tumblr reblogs, Google+1’s, Instagram photos and friend requests never pauses.
The Florida Players’ production of “Maple and Vine” features a couple overwhelmed by today’s fast pace. The play will be performed Friday through Sunday in the Squitieri Studio Theatre in the Phillips Center for Performing Arts.
The couple, subdued by their lives’ stress and noise, are given the chance to slow the clock by going back in time. They find a gated community filled with re-enactors who permanently live each day as if it were 1955. There is no sushi or Internet, but life is peaceful with lounging and indulgent sips of cocktails. However, they learn the 1950s weren’t so perfect.
The play by Jordan Harrison is directed by third-year University of Florida graduate student Joshua Hamilton.
It may seem odd for people to pretend they live in the 1950s, but when screen names, avatars and online personas of the 2000s are considered, it’s not so unusual, he said.
Hamilton’s favorite character in the show, the inspirational yet manipulative Dean, says it best: “It’s kind of funny to me when people get so suspicious of pretending. I mean, don’t you think people pretend every day, without knowing it? We all imagine the life we’d like to have, and it takes a little pretend to get it.”
People who enjoy video games, pop culture, technology and 1950s nostalgia will have fun, he said.
Hamilton also directed a video trailer for the play, filmed and edited by David Cuellar. It’s the first of its kind for the group and has already gained popularity across social networking sites and the Florida Players website. It will soon go on YouTube.
Florida Players is a student-run theater company that fosters appreciation for the performing arts and provides opportunities for all UF majors to explore direction, design, performance and playwriting.
For more information on show times and tickets, or to watch the trailer, visit www.floridaplayers.org.