Despite the disappointing storyline, the staging and performance of the play were excellently done, which is a feat considering even the actors struggled to find meaning in the play. But then again, that might have been the point.
“This show is a lot about love. It deals with themes of LGBTQ+ issues, but more than anything this show is about people not being honest with each other.”—Sam Dietrich, leading man in TotoToo’s production of Torch Song Trilogy.
Directed by MFA candidate Pamela Feghali, the play tells the tale of four friends and their twisted experiences of insobriety and sabotage. The discourse surrounds the tribulations of the artist, whose beauty and talent causes both admiration and envy.
As the story takes audiences back into the past, we meet Jem, played by U of O alumna Carol Sinclair, and her father John, a fame-obsessed drunkard. Throughout the play, audiences watch as each character’s past unfolds, and how they struggle to find true meaning and faith in life.
One of the best things about this adaptation of the play, and of Shakespeare’s writing in general, is that despite its antiquity it remains fresh in the eye of the beholder. Shakespeare’s writing still seems as relevant today as it was in the 1600s because of Shakespeare’s ability to understand the core of people’s nature and depict it in his complex characterizations, said Gough.
What happens when a politician orders a murder to slip by in a vote? Comedy! And if Healey was aiming for a comedy he certainly succeeded, with a cast of hilarious characters, rants against Canadian Tire, a quest to find Triscuits, a splendidly performed awkward post-sex scene, rants against twenty-somethings and excellent use of the word “fuckwit.”