Theatre UNB is ready to entertain with their first production of 2018, Bone Cage. From Jan. 31 till Feb. 3, students from UNB’s advanced acting course will be performing the award winning drama nightly at 7.30 p.m in Memorial Hall.
The play focuses on the turmoil that the main characters, Jamie and Kevin, face while growing up in rural Maritimes.
The play’s director Len Falkenstein explained that “this play talks about how people have to make a choice about having a job or having a job that is destroying the planet.”
Falkenstein mentioned that while the level of acting required for Bone Cage is challenging, the artists chosen for this play fit the mould of the characters really well.
Kate Aldacosta, a student taking Media, Arts and Culture at UNB, will be playing Krista, Kevin’s younger sister and Jamie’s girlfriend. “The hardest part of playing Krista was trying to portray her youth and naïveté without coming across as annoying or too whiny,” said Aldacosta.
Alex Pannier, a third year student doing a double major in Drama and Classics, is portraying the role of Jamie.
In preparation for this play, Pannier worked on his accent and physical attributes to reflect similar traits of a young Maritimer working in forestry.
“I had to learn how to carry my body, and move in ways that can communicate this. I developed both of these aspects by performing my personal expectations of his character, as well as by observing and listening to other people who I found bore similarities to Jamie,” said Pannier.
Falkenstein underlined that the audience will relate to the play because “[these are] real work challenges that people in this part of our world are facing.”
As a performer, Pannier used his personal experiences to create his character. “I relate to his immense longing for meaning, to be able to escape. He’s drawn a stark line between what he is and what he wants to be; I understand the overwhelming feeling one gets when they realize the distance between the two,” said Pannier.
The set design for Bone Cage called for a different seating arrangement for the audience, and it is another exciting aspect to look forward to. “It is quite an amazing set. It calls for lots of location inside the house, on the river bank and on the highway bridge,” said Falkenstein.
Pannier believes that the audience will understand and sympathize with the characters. Through his portrayal of Jamie he wants to convey that, “all this tumultuous behaviour is derived from his employment, his family life, his desires and the inability to fulfill them, and these manifest in negative ways. Jamie is very human, and very much a product of his experiences, and I want to portray this in all its complexities.”
Bone Cage will be a retrospective glance for people from small towns. “It is like stepping back to high school. You will laugh and you might cry. It is a visceral experience,” said Falkenstein.