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Raven Theatre Gets Edgy, Premieres “Good Boys and True”

The locker room and the sex videotape that circulates in a Washington D.C. boys’ prep school create the center stage for this Jeff recommended edgy drama.  Director Cody Estle transforms Raven Theater’s West Stage into a small and intimate arena of a plot that unfolds as writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa  of Good Boys and True sets it, “…with a pace and forward momentum of something like a thriller or a mystery.”

The center stage, where old and new secrets echo, is the boy’s locker room.  The platform atop a row of lockers strongly characterizes the field where athletes are made heroes, or broken, and the sports arena that produces an image of the American male athlete as one of physical strength, competitive attitude, and power that carries over from the locker room to the rest of the world, particularly for Brandon Hardy.

Brandon Hardy, played by Will Kiley a promising young actor, is the football team captain and the anonymous boy suspected of having explicit sex with a local girl in the video that makes the rounds throughout the elite school and explodes in the local news.  The son of two successful doctors, Brandon’s obstinate denial unfolds a dark side of a culture of privilege.  The Zeus and demi god syndrome of his role reveals a perpetual cycle of unscrupulous supremacy.  In a previous interview, Aguirre-Sacasa points out, “In a way, although Good Boys and True is about these bigger questions and bigger issues of privilege, class, culpability, and inheritance (and I don’t mean literal inheritance, I mean what inherit from our parents, about how we live our lives) it lands ultimately, very squarely on a family, on the shoulders of this mother and son.”

The mother, Elizabeth Hardy, powerfully characterized by Maggie Cain is the role and the threat through which the identity of the family is revealed. She aims to protect her son at all cost, an effort that suggests the preservation of upper class male dominance over the degradation of others.  The play set in 1988, questions the “notions of morality and immorality and one’s willingness or not to conform to social convention.”  Maggie Cain’s performance as Amanda Wingfield in Mary Arrchie’s The Glass Menagerie, won praises for her performance and once again nails it.

Estle’s cast also includes the passionate Derek Herman as Justin, Brandon’s best friend, and Karl Potthoff as Coach Shea, Brandon’s football coach and protector.  Completing the ensemble are Raven members Kelli Strickland as Maddie and Sophia Menendian as Cheryl.  Cody Estle last year’s Raven production includes Brighton Beach Memoirs and Boy Gets Girl.  Alexander Lavelle is the assistant director with Sara Carranza as stage manager.  Set and sound designs by Jeff Kmiec, Nick Belley and Chris LaPorte and costume design by Izumi Inaba with props by Mary O’Dowd.

Directed by Cody Estle, Raven Theater’s production of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Good Boys and True runs March 11 – May 3, 2014.   For ticket reservations go to http://www.raventheatre.com

 

 


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