The director of Maple Ridge goes for the dark comedy Machine massacre.
Aaron Davis, who has been involved in theater for more than 20 years as an actor and director, will direct the Stage 43 production. It is a story that follows the fate of two parents who meet to discuss their squabbling between their sons.
However, what promised to be a civilized conversation quickly devolves into a chaotic and hilarious battle of wills.
As night falls, the parents get too drunk and engage in a series of outrageous antics that not only reveal their deepest fears and desires, but also their true colours.
They descend into a “primitive” violent state by hurling insults at each other, destroying property, and discrediting each other.
And by the end of the night, the pair come to a new understanding of each other – for better or for worse.
Machine massacreWritten by French playwright Yasmina Reda, it won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play. It was translated into English in 2003 by Christopher Hampton for broadcast on Broadway.
Davis heard about the play about a year or two later, and when he first read the script he felt it was rumor to everyone he knew.
“It was so sarcastic I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t stop reading it.”
Machine massacreHe said it was in the top three of his play list to lead for years.
Davis was acting in high school, but left it when he joined the army. He only followed his passion by moving to Maple Ridge in 2000 and discovering the Emerald Pig Theater Society. He performed in his first revue with them in 2003 and never looked back, working one or two shows a year.
He has worked with Stage 43 as a director for three years and about a decade as an actor.
When he first read Davis God of carnage He thought it was really relevant to society.
“He really showed us the worst, I think,” he laughed. “The way we might see other people we don’t know when they’re behaving badly, right?”
Today, he believes the piece is more relevant to society, particularly in the post-COVID landscape in which the world has found itself.
Especially the way people interact on social media, he said.
Davis said that one of the challenges of directing this play was that some of the language in it made him feel uncomfortable.
“It only happens twice,” he explained. But at the end of the play, it all comes to the end of the “rope wrestle”.
The insults are brushed off before the play can continue. Davis says he understands why insults are part of the story. The author said it’s because that’s how we act when we’re at our worst, “when we’re really at our worst,” he explained.
“Guiding people to say those words and helping them agree to say those words, that was a bit of a challenge,” he said, adding that the script was very deep for spelling and writing, which he described as clever. He said that a lot of comedies can be very sketchy.
Davis hopes that the audience will see themselves in the characters on stage. He hopes they think about what they look like when they’re at their worst and maybe think about how they interact with people, especially those they don’t know about parenting and kids.
He also hopes that people will realize that we all have the ability to reach those lows and give others the benefit of the doubt and not condemn anyone forever for their bad behavior right now.
Next, Davis hopes to direct comedy son trulyBy Patrick Barlow, a play he has the right to put on hold for the time being, and if he gets the rights, the theater company he founded – Curious and Company Entertainment Society – will stage it in October.
God of carnage April 27 – May 6 at Evergreen Cultural Centre, 1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam.
Tickets are available now and can be purchased online at stage43.org, by phone at 604-927-6555, or in person at the box office.
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Maple Ridge, Pete Meadows