Geneva’s Headless Sullivan Theatre’s production of Adriano Shaplin’s “Pugilist Specialist” will feature two of HWS’ up-and-coming actors: Reina Apraez ’11 and Johnathan Patterson ’11.
Directed by Gabriela Mrvova, this psychological thriller unfolds in a series of field recordings, detailing the planning, execution and mishandling of a modern political assassination. Utilizing an array of literary influences from Moby Dick to the Marine Corps Manual, “The Pugilist Specialist” dissects the American military’s hunt for evil in foreign lands.
“A number of things attracted me to the play and the role,” says Apraez. “The script has an edge to its language and practical approach, and brings attention to the ongoing contemporary positions and stances that those within and outside of the military have. Also, the opportunity to work in the community and support theater in Geneva was something I had been interested in for a while. I wanted to get a fresh experience with acting in a new environment.”
“I thought this was a great opportunity to enrich both the Geneva community and the HWS community through my expression of art,” says Patterson. “The play is pretty funny and explores communication among people, though the dialogue, if listened to closely, hints at a tragic ending.”
Apraez and Patterson, who have appeared in Bartlett Theatre productions (Apraez in “The Phoenician Women” and “John Gabriel Borkman”; Patterson in “McTeague” and “Eurydice”), are playing two of the four Marines around whom the play centers, who are on a mission to eliminate a Middle Eastern leader.
“Lt. Stein is a matter of fact, calculating, disciplined, practical, and controlled character of will,” Apraez says of her character. “She is a good soldier with a head that is just too good for her own good. She is a challenge for me to play, and she is a bigger challenge to the male characters she works with. It’s important for me to play women who have something to say about the nature or circumstance of women.”
“‘The Pugilist Specialist’ is my third play, and most intricate role: I play a loud, ‘undisciplined lout,’ which is very much like me,” Patterson jokes.
Show dates: Friday, Jan. 29; Saturday, Jan. 30; Thursday, Feb. 4; Friday, Feb. 5; Saturday, Feb. 6.
All shows start at 8 p.m. and are held at The Headless Sullivan Theater, 427 Exchange Street, in downtown Geneva.
Mark your calendars, and buy your tickets early! Tickets are $5 and can be bought in advance at Area Records or at the door. For more about the production, visit the Headless Sullivan blog.