Terminal Theatre Artistic Director Sarah Szloboda is excited. Armed with a play that features nothing but great parts for women and with the knowledge that Vancouver is full of talented female artists, she is convinced we are in for great theatre when The Vic opens at the Jericho Arts Centre on February 15th.
Given she and her group are up against some tough competition with that certain sporting event and all it has to offer, choosing the right play is important, but Szloboda thinks she has found that magic formula with this particular show.
The Vic (as in “victim”) tells the story of a young woman who has disappeared. Four women are drawn into the race to find her, each revealing the events of their recent lives that are just as shattering as the missing woman.
Included among the women are a lesbian couple who join in on the search, and while none of the actors identify as lesbians, Szloboda says that she and her cast found the relationship as one of the easiest to relate to.
“Spud and Elise’s storyline is really fantastic in that it is completely unapologetic,” said Szloboda. “I find in a lot of contemporary drama featuring a gay/lesbian storyline, the author fails to explore more than the character’s sexual orientation. In this piece we really see two people together, and the conflict is human and is relatable to any relationship gay or straight.”
Szloboda says working with the two actresses playing the lesbian roles was an easy process. “They both approached the work with an open heart and with lots of understanding of what brought these two people to the breaking point.”
The question of who is the victim and who is the victimizer is something that is explored in The Vic and for the lesbian couple it takes on a whole other meaning when it includes domestic violence. But Szloboda doesn’t think that the issue of domestic violence is perceived or portrayed differently just because it is a lesbian couple.
“I think we are dealing with the bare realities of violence, both physical and emotional,” said Szloboda. “I say bare realities because we can’t cling to any stereotypes around masculinity and femininity as it relates to a violent relationship. This can be challenging at times, but so far has been nothing but a real adventure to explore.”
For Szloboda directing this all female cast has been a unique pleasure but one that she doesn’t see as anything different from directing a mixed gender cast.
“Each of these characters is so different, and each of the actresses is painting a really fascinating portrait of each of them,” said Szloboda. “Most of the time I forget there are no men in the show because the relationships are so clear and powerful, with no ingénue in sight. I really do feel like my job is easy though with this cast because they are unbelievably open, talented, and generous. “
Founded in 2009, Terminal Theatre’s mandate is to create or produce fresh, raucous, and relevant theatre. The group’s first professional production was the Vancouver Fringe Festival show Szloboda co-wrote titled The First Time which helped keep the ball rolling to their sophomore production of David Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow.
“From that rather macho production we moved quickly on to The Vic, which couldn’t be in some ways more opposite,” said Szloboda. “But with every rehearsal I’m actually finding more and more parallels.”
Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery Street, Vancouver
15-21 February 2010
A young woman has disappeared at the edge of the city. Four women are drawn into the race to find her. Mentor and protégé, lovers and sisters, we move through the shattering events of their recent lives that have left them as lost as she is. Tickets are $15-$20 available at Tickets Tonight. Visit http://www.terminaltheatre.tk for more information.