Jan. 24, 2013 - Issue #901: Children can’t choose
Sometimes placing blame on others is easier than looking deeper into what a problem really is, and what role you may have played.
For parents Clay and Gloria Matthews, their world comes to a screeching halt when their rebellious and increasingly distant 16-year-old son Danny is expelled for bringing a gun to school. Clay has always been the doting, peace-making father, trying desperately to understand his son while playing mediator to ease the tension between Danny and his mother, who often becomes frustrated while attempting to deal with her son.
"It's pretty complex, and I can only speak for myself, but I'm hoping to bring an understanding of the character," says Coralie Cairns, who plays Gloria. "Nobody's the villain or the hero, they're all just really complex people who are coping the way they know how."
"It's really topical in a lot of ways because it has to do with guns in schools and I think that, even though that's mainly a US problem, I think it's always good to keep that conversation going," adds Doug Mertz, who plays Clay.
At the centre of it all is Danny's firecracker girlfriend Evie, who Clay and Gloria believe is just a friend in the beginning—a bad influence, no less—and despite doing their best to keep the couple apart, they realize they haven't succeeded.
"It's really easy to lay blame. There's an insecurity on our part of, 'Could we have done a better job, or where did we go wrong?'" Cairns notes. "I think Evie's maybe a good target for us at the beginning."
Evie's Waltz covers some difficult, poignant territory, particularly in the wake of recent tragedies involving gun violence, but Mertz maintains its not a preachy story, with Cairns adding that, when it comes down to it, the play is about the relationships between its characters, rather than the event itself.
"There may be people in the audience that are experiencing similar situations or emotions or thoughts," Cairns says. "If they're able to see themselves and to see themselves up onstage and go, 'Wow, that's me; that's how I feel about this,' it just gives you a different perspective."
Until Sun, Feb 10 (7:30 pm, 2 pm matinee Saturday and Sunday; no performance Sun, Jan 27)
Varscona Theatre, $16 – $27
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