Wednesday, November 2, 2011

“Commencement”

Three women, one actor explore impact of loss


By JENNIFER LIEBRUM
Express Staff Writer

Hanna Cheek plays three characters in the play “Commencement” which focuses on the impact on three women in the aftermath of a high school shooting.

"Sorry for your loss."

How could four little words sum up the many dimensions that culminate after of an action, natural or otherwise, that causes so much pain? And yet, it's the one word that can bring simplicity to such a complex emotional state.

The anatomy of loss and its aftermath will be explored when Company of Fools presents the specially commissioned play "Commencement," about three women brought together after a Columbine-like high school massacre.

One actress will portray the three characters, who are the mother of the shooter, one of the shooter's victims and the mother of that victim.

Hanna Cheek, who has assumed the role since playwright Clay McLeod Chapman conceived it, will travel to Hailey's Liberty Theatre with the writer to present the show to the public one night only, Friday, Nov. 4.

By the time the curtain falls after the performance at the Liberty, Cheek and Chapman will also have provided a unique interactive experience around the show with students at both Wood River High School and the Community School. Before they leave the valley, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts will host an invitation-only performance as well, part of The Center's current teen-focused exhibition called "Awkward Age: Adolescence and Identity."

<

In "Commencement," playwright Chapman has gone behind the headlines that surround unbelievable events like that at Colorado's Columbine High School in April 1999 when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold massacred 12 students and a teacher.

The massacre provoked national debate regarding gun control and the availability of firearms in the U.S. as well as the nature of high school cliques, subculture, bullying and the role of violent movie and video games in influencing social outcasts.

"Commencement" is a deep exploration of the culture that can breed such unspeakable acts. The stories of the three women commingled in the wake "will leave you wringing your hands in helpless empathy," according to SEE Magazine.

Core Company Artist Denise Simone said "Commencement" is an all-ages production with a story that needs to be told.

The Edmonton Journal offered this:

"Brace yourself for a sobering show with viscous silences that are uncomfortable and thought-provoking. Take your children, even if they sulk. The message matters, and Cheek, as the messenger, delivers it beautifully."

"Company of Fools is very proud that 'Commencement' is our first commissioned and published piece," Simone said, and "that we are able to bring Clay and Hanna, who are incredible artists to our valley."

Playwright Chapman teaches writing at The Actors Studio MFA Program at Pace University and is the creator of the rigorous storytelling session "The Pumpkin Pie Show." Cheek is a part of the show and last teamed up with Chapman in the widely acclaimed piece "Hostage Song."

Jennifer Liebrum: jliebrum@mtexpress.com




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2019 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.