After Sept. 11 Americans were left with many questions unanswered. How could this happen? Who did this to us? This led to even more difficult questions of our reaction. Should we take revenge? Go to war? In finding the answers one must look from all different angles to find a just answer. The Two Lights Theater Ensemble’s Production of La Promise still leaves the questions unanswered but will open eyes to other possibilities and ideas.
La Promise written by French playwright Xavier Durringer takes the story of a simple family in a time of war. A mother, son, daughter and her fianc? react and try to live in a time of war. The play takes contemporary issues of patriotism, heroism, and family and asks the theatergoer to look at many sides of the issue.
Director Emmanuelle Chaulet believes the play is timely and important to see. Chaulet saw the play in France before Sept. 11.
“I felt it wasn’t ready for an American audience.”
But after Sept. 11 Chaulet felt an obligation to produce it because “it is what people need to hear and discuss. The play weighs all the issues of why do you go to war.”
USM theater major Kellsy MacGillian plays Lucia, the most human character in the play. MacGillian believes the play is effective because it never refers to a specific location.
“It could take place any time, anywhere in the world and the same issues apply,” MacGillian said.
The war could be in any country while two enemies are fighting. The universal nature of the play can make one aware of other conflicts in the world, not Sept. 11 alone.
Sean Demers, sophomore theater major, plays the pacifist son Daniel who spends his time with his family doing simple things in life rather than going to war. Demers says of the play, “I love it because of the timeliness of it. It’s not only entertaining but it also means something, not only to myself but to the audience.”
Michael Toth, junior theater major, is the show’s backbone. Toth plays the part of the spiritual guide seen only by Lucia. His lines quote from all sources of theology, the Bible, Koran, Torah and many poets. Toth isn’t interested in reviews or how much money the show makes, but wants an audience in the seats to hear messages of mercy and understanding.
“I would like people to walk away with the idea that peace is the absence of conflict and the presence of understanding. We cannot destroy an enemy and create peace.”
La Promise offers a stunning look at issues which surround Americans and people throughout the world today. What is just? La Promise can take one to places that are often uncomfortable and frightening , yet the moral and ethical dilemmas remain after the curtain falls.
Sept. 11 performance will hold a discussion panel after the performance with groups such as Peace Action Maine, Maine Veterans, and speakers from USM and the community.
Sept. 7-11-12-13-14 at 7:30
September 8-15 at 4:30
September 11 a panel discussion after the show including Peace Action Maine, Maine Veterans, University of Southern Maine, and The World Affairs Council
$8 students /seniors