Apr 3, 2018
by J.B. Priestlya public exercise presented by the
Acting IV: Honours Class
Directed by: Ann Hodges
Scenic Designer Eston Ferraton
Costume Designer: Alexei Heibert
Lighting Designer: Rebekah Enns
Admission is FREE!
Widely regarded as the best of Preistley's 'Time Plays' Time and the Conways brings to us an examination of how time has an effect on all of us and the seemingly minor decisions we all make in our daily lives which go on to have much greater consequences than we could imagine. Contrasted with a background encompassing one of the most momentous periods of political and social upheaval of the last century, the play takes a close-up look at the lives of the Conway family in Britain and how it changes using snapshots of time from the optimistic outlook after the end of the 'war to end all wars' and the precipice of World War II.
The first of these pictures portrays a birthday party in 1919 which is in itself a demarcation of personal time passing within the larger frame of world events. This opening glimpse of the family introduces the younger family members setting out on their various paths in light of parental oversight and expectations. The second act reveals a contrasting image some 18 years later in 1937. What has happened to the family? and how have expectations evolved and been realised... or not? Through these lenses we can see that there are few moments without consequences even in the relatively care-free events of an annual party and reveal the unexpected on the roads we travel through time and chance.
Another modern play might end on the melancholy of this note but Preistley takes us one more step in act III which returns us to 1919 and another view of the original party. Not content to leave us with one perspective of time's result, he takes us back to see the later events of the original evening. We see the family in an earlier time again with the perspective of the era to follow. This brings us as audience to a more vivid understanding of the moments given to the Conways and perhaps to us all. Despite the earlier forbodings it is in this return that we see there may yet still be hope - perhaps for the Conways to choose other paths but more importantly, for us who are making our own decisions and pondering our own choices here and now.
TIME AND THE CONWAYS is produced with permisson of Samuel French.
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