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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Hilarious and sad, ETB’s ‘Visitors’ a stand out

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If you are looking for an at times hilarious and at other times heartbreakingly sad, the Experimental Theatre Board’s show Visitors fits the bill. Directed by Alexandra Pozniak ’18, the play is set on an elderly couple’s farm as two visitors, their son and a young woman who is a stranger to them in the beginning, come on and off stage and in and out of their lives.

The play’s strength lies in the strength of its four-person cast, all of whom deliver convincing and stirring performances. Erik Sorensen ’17 plays the husband, Arthur, with emotion, realism, and humor. His excellent timing and body language make Arthur one of the most compelling characters.

Jenan Jacobson ’18, playing his wife, Edie, is passionate and thoughtful in both dialogue and her monologues. She forces the audience to question the way they live their lives and interact with others.

Eli Sorich ’17 makes the audience hate and pity Stephen, the couple’s son, in equal measure. His dialogue with his parents was poignant and gripping. And Ceci Hart ’19 portrays Kate’s emotions vividly as the visitor in this family’s lives. Her development is intriguing and feels very natural.

Jacobson’s monologues, in particular, are central to the entire play. They intersperse scenes of love, humor, tension, and conflict, and with Jacobson’s skilled delivery, make the present feel interspersed with the past. Jacobson plays with time, memory, and ambiguity. The other characters revolve around Edie, and the way each actor brings their relationship with her to life left many in the audience near tears.

As the play goes on, the audience feels more and more drawn into their lives as well, and into the living room that is the play’s only set. The consistency of the set is one of the play’s strengths. Arthur and Edie’s armchairs are the set’s focal points and are surrounded by carefully placed details of their lives, giving the room a sense of history.

After the end of the play, I was left both sad and smiling. The cast and production team did a great job of bringing this family to life. Honestly, I could not think of one critique of the play. We in the audience ultimately become visitors, gazing into the window of the living room, watching the family’s lives go by.

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