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Theatre UNB to close out semester with performance of Enron

There are different ways to cope with the stress of a semester coming to an end. There is liquor at The Cellar, films at Tilley Hall as part of the Monday Night Film Series or the Dog Room in the SUB.

Theatre UNB has another option, though, as they are getting ready to premiere their latest play, Enron, on Wednesday, March 25.

Theatre UNB’s newest production takes a look at the surprise bankruptcy of Enron, an American energy corporation that went out of business in 2001. Originally performed in London in 2009, Lucy Pebble’s play is both a comedy and documentary style performance with dance numbers and a ’90s soundtrack throughout.

Len Falkenstein is the director of drama at UNB and also directed Theatre UNB’s Enron, which is made up of a cast of 13 UNB drama students.

“The story of Enron is simply incredibly fascinating, no matter where you’re from. It’s got greed, corruption, intricate plot twists, tampering in politics. And because it’s got all that, it’s in many ways a very archetypal, universal story,” said Falkenstein.

“At the root, it’s a play about hubris, about how absolute power corrupts absolutely, about a group of guys who thought they were above the law and could get away with the financial equivalent of murder because they were smarter and sneakier than everyone else.”

Though it deals with a serious subject, Falkenstein believes the play will be both fun and entertaining for audiences.

“I like to do plays that are thought-provoking in some manner. The way I see it, we’re a university theatre company and we should be doing plays that make people think, and feel as well. Whether that’s in the form of drama or comedy, it doesn’t matter to me, but I want to do plays that are smart and make us consider the human condition in some way.”

For Falkenstein, Enron is the perfect combination of his favourite things: “hard-hitting politics, weirdness and comedy all rolled into one.”

Some of the previous plays that Theatre UNB has performed this year have been Our Country’s Good, Live Broadcast and Les Belles Soeurs. While the reception for past performances has been positive, Falkenstein admits that it has been tough to draw in crowds at times.

“Attendance has been decent, but the brutal winter has taken a toll on the last couple of shows, with performances affected by storms and cold. It continues to be an ongoing challenge as well to get people away from their screens and into the theatre.”

Enron will combat the latter issue by featuring a wide range of visuals with impressive projection design and lighting.

“Students are going to be the next generation of business people, lawyers, and politicians — our leaders and the people who make the rules for how the system works. This play shows that the system is broken and needs fixing.”

Enron will be performed at 8:00 p.m. nightly from March 25 to March 28 at Memorial Hall. Tickets will be $8 for students and $14 for the general public.

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