Photo By: Brock University
Brock’s dramatic arts’ spring mainstage production, Red Bike, is set to welcome back audiences to in-person theatre. The Marilyn I. Walker Theatre will host the play six times throughout the beginning of March.
Red Bike, a play originally written by Caridad Svich, is being directed for the mainstage by Mike Griffin. Without an intermission, this 70-minute play is made up of 50 scenes that follow an unnamed eleven-year-old kid on a journey through a small town as she encounters several challenges that make her reflect on her perspective. The play speaks to a lot of current issues without being limited to a certain period.
Matthew Martin, the play’s assistant director, had to adjust to his new role and worked alongside Griffin to overcome challenges presented by COVID-19 restrictions. The restrictions in January of this year presented some obstacles for rehearsals. Luckily, the cast is small and including the directors and stage managers the number of people that needed to gather in person was low.
“We had to adapt, we had quite a few rehearsals where we had to manage our time. One time we had to call in each actor individually and work through what we could [with them], it was a challenge but it was something we had to adapt to,” said Martin. “I’m proud of how the actors and the team have been rolling with the punches this entire process, it is incredibly inspiring.”
It took a while to get everyone in together at the same time. There were times when people connected through Zoom, but the show requires integration from everyone, so virtual meetings were difficult and were largely avoided.
Audiences certainly will be in for a unique experience with the dramatic arts program’s take on Red Bike.
“People can expect a euphoric, magical, but confrontational experience. The audience is almost forced to confront a lot of difficult issues, there are no easy answers, it makes you sit with the issues [it presents],” said Martin.
All six cast members play a different version of the kid. Yasmine Agocs, one of the cast members, plays both the kid and the old guy. The old guy builds a relationship with the kid as a guardian and gives her life lessons and pieces of wisdom through her journey.
“The play includes a lot of experiences I think a lot of people have had at some point in their life. Even though it’s not a linear play, it’s the experiences, the narration, and the story telling within that people might relate to,” said Agocs.
Agocs’ first mainstage show was online last year, going back in person allowed her to connect with the cast members better. While the COVID-19 restrictions made things difficult, being able to be in person has been crucial for Agocs.
“I want [the audience] to take a good look at the world and question things from a child’s perspective, [always] asking “why?”. Additionally, to look at the world and still find that kind of joy and experience it from the lens of a child,” said Agocs.
Joanna Tran, another cast member, plays another version of the kid and the character “dude.” This is her third mainstage production and being back in person allows her to sense what her scene partners are feeling and be able to interact with them better. Once again it highlights the importance of in-person interactions and how it can help the actor’s performance.
“I tried to pull up as many experiences from movies and television to inspire myself for this role. It has been a blast figuring out the physicalization of my characters. I had a one-on-one with the director and he helped me a lot finding my own self within this character. It’s hard as an actor to separate yourself and use your own experiences and add it to the character,” said Tran.
What Tran wants the audience to take away from the play is to reminisce about their childhood and learn to play as an adult.
The Marilyn I. Walker Theatre will host the play on March 4, 5, 11, and 12 at 7:30 p.m and March 6 and 12 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the public, $16 for youth and seniors, and $15 for Brock students.