Tonight marks the opening night of Ninja Pirates Theatre Society’s production of SubUrbia by Eric Bogosian, directed by Anthony Shim.
The play follows the nighttime activities of a group of aimless 20-somethings still living suburban hometown and their reunion with a former-geeky-high-school classmate, who is now a successful musician. It’s semi-autobiographical take on Bogosian’s own youth, growing up in Woburn, Massachusetts.
When Shim was first given the play, he had a lot of resistance towards the work, mainly because it resonated so acutely with his adolescence, spent in Coquitlam.
“It made me so uncomfortable because it was so true and so honest that I didn’t even like the play.” But finally, Shim relented. “This isn’t a play I wanted to do. It’s a play I had to do.”
Deciding to go with this close-to-home theme and run with it, Shim took it to the next level casting friends he grew up with (who also so happen to be accomplished actors) in the play. Shim has known actor James Pizzinato since the 10th grade and he grew up down the street from actor Adrian Petriw and Assistant Director Victor Ayala in Coquitlam.
The result? “There is a real truth to the relationships between the actors that lets this show be real. We were able to go the extra distance because there is that extra understanding and trust.”
Adding to the intimacy between the cast is the intimate space. Shim is wanted the set to be small and wanted to break traditional theatre rules around blocking.
“The audience should feel like you’re sitting on a sitting around with these teenagers, shooting the sh*t.”
SubUrbia runs July 3-8 and July 10-14, 2012 at 8:00pm at the Blake Snyder Theatre, 112 East 3rd Ave (near Quebec St) in Vancouver. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online in advance or by calling (604) 633-1124.