Reunion, running Dec. 1-10 at the Camel City Playhouse, is a play within a play.
The Artistic Director of a community theatre has passed away. A script that he wrote has been found. The theatre has decided to produce the play and has invited back all the actors from over the years that have worked with the AD. All of these friends return and it’s like things have never changed, but they have. Secrets start to be revealed, bonds broken and forged. It’s a wonderful production that deals with real people and real-life situations.
But it’s also a real-life reunion for the cast who performed this play in its 2019 North American debut at the Historic Broyhill Center in Clemmons.
“It’s an ensemble cast,” explains playwright Lynn Hall, who wrote this, her first script, after a career working in journalism and strategic communications. “When those people get back together again after eight years, all those tensions, personalities and friendships come back.
The scene is a community rehearsal hall in a small town, not unlike Clemmons, where Hall used to cover town government for the Clemmons Courier, or Lewisville, where she was a part of town staff. And, she says, the piece, which was written in 2018, came quickly.
“I just sat down to write and there it was,” she says. “It was like that.”
In the spirit of the work, Hall was able to recruit several of the actors who appeared in Reunion the first time around in Clemmons. Leads Janaea Platt and Chris Swaim reprise their roles from the original production.
Swaim, who holds a bachelors in theater from UNCG, has performed with a who’s who of local theater: Stained Glass Playhouse, Little Theatre of Winston-Salem, Kernersville Little Theatre and others. In Reunion, Swaim says, he plays Paddy, a gay man who, since he made his acting debut eight years earlier, has become a “hot commodity” as a director.
He’s worked with his co-star, Platt, several times before, most recently in SGP productions Dial M for Murder and Barefoot in the Park, in which they played husband and wife.
Platt plays small-town newspaper reporter Tori Garner, who stumbles on a larger story than she imaged as she digs deeper into the past.
“I can definitely hear Lynn in my lines,” Platt says.
In the play, the reunited cast of characters deconstruct the rosy images of the past they carry, uncover long-buried secrets and ultimately confront the past, reconciling it with the present.
“Lynn has done a great job of capturing community theater without sinking to playful stereotypes,” Platt says.
AT the same time, the work emphasizes the role of the victim, the troubles we all bear in life, the importance of a reckoning before moving on.
“We want this to be a source of e powering women,” Hall says. ”And we’re asking for victims to stand up and be heard.”
Join the First Amendment Society, a membership that goes directly to funding TCB‘s newsroom.
We believe that reporting can save the world.
The TCB First Amendment Society recognizes the vital role of a free, unfettered press with a bundling of local experiences designed to build community, and unique engagements with our newsroom that will help you understand, and shape, local journalism’s critical role in uplifting the people in our cities.
All revenue goes directly into the newsroom as reporters’ salaries and freelance commissions.