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‘Communicating Doors’ Opens At LALT Sept. 8

on August 31, 2017 - 7:29am
Scene from ‘Communicating Doors’, opening Sept. 8 at LALT. Photo by Larry Gibbons

Los Alamos

Women take center-stage in Los Alamos Little Theater’s upcoming production of Alan Ayckbourn’s “Communicating Doors,” showing 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Sept. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, and 2 p.m. for a matinee Sunday, Sept. 17.

The play begins in a deceptively ordinary-looking hotel room. Poopay, a prostitute the elderly Reece wants to witness his confession of murder, must save herself from Reece’s also-guilty assistant Julian — who does not wish to confess — by going back in time through “communicating doors” to prevent the murders of Reece’s first and second wives.

First-time LALT Director Holly Robinson said as soon as she read “Communicating Doors,” she knew it was the play she wanted to direct.

“It is so hard to find compelling female roles in theater,” she said, “let alone plays with women who are the protagonists. That is what spoke to me about the play. The women save themselves.”

Trisha Warner, playing Poopay, echoed Robinson’s sentiments.

“When considering shows to audition for,” Warner said, “I am interested in the journey that a character goes on and how she changes throughout the course of the show. Poopay really appealed to me because she is such a challenge. She experiences almost every human emotion possible throughout the show and her journey is so extreme. Additionally, I love this play because the women drive all the action of the play, which is rare. So often it seems that the female characters are an afterthought. Absolutely not the case here. These are likable, smart, capable women, who just happen to be in terrible circumstances.”

Warner added that the play has elements that “everyone can enjoy. There is suspense, there is sci-fi, and it happens to be hilariously funny. It gives you someone to cheer for, too.”  

Linda Taylor, playing Ruella, said audiences will love this play because “all the characters are supremely fabulous and the audience gets to see all these wonderful personalities in ‘death-defying’ extreme circumstances.”

On a more personal note, Taylor said, “I love this show because my character is big and bold and energetic, and so I get to over-act to my heart’s content.”

Alex L’Esperance, playing Jessica, said, “What I enjoy the most out of this show is that it portrays ex wives and young women working together, instead of the instant hatred that women are almost expected to have toward one another — especially when they love or have loved the same person.”

Yet here, she said, “Each of the female characters is vastly different, yet they end up banding together to overcome certain situations.”

She added that while her character is “spoiled” and “haughty,” she thinks “audiences will enjoy Jessica on multiple levels, even if they are scared of her at times.”

Patrick Webb described his character, Reece, as a “cruel, withered husk at the beginning of the show. Guilt from mortality has impelled him to confess, though probably too late. You get to see him at very different points in his life though, so he is an object lesson of how the company you keep shapes your being.”

Peter Sandford will play Harold, a detective who is, in Sandford’s words, “a very toned-down Barney Fife — kinda slow on the uptake, fairly harmless, somewhat clueless.” He called the play itself a “murder-mystery, time-traveling comedy” with “some fun twists and turns.”

Although “Communicating Doors” has been compared to “Back to the Future,” Robinson said it’s only similar in that time travel leads to changing the future.

“I think that many in our scientific community will enjoy the time travel aspect — or they may hate it because it isn’t scientifically possible,” she said. “But I think it’s a play about how it is possible to change even when all seems lost. What I really love about the play is that it’s not like anything I’ve ever seen.”

Robinson said she went to college to become a theater director and “while I’m not teaching children about the wonders of theater, I am helping to bring theater to the community. That is what is important to me that younger generations and those who might not have previous experience with theater come out and give it a try.”

Robinson added, “LALT has been a place to go for me when I felt like I didn’t belong. I have found a family here and people I love. Theater helped make me who I am today and LALT is sustaining that person.”

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