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King's Highway runs through Kenai

Posted: Thursday, March 06, 2008

"Camino Real," plays at 7 p.m. on Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Kenai Performers' Playhouse in Old Town.

"I Wrote the Play to Make You Love Me" will run at 7 p.m. on Sunday at the Playhouse.

"I'd have everybody read Williams every day, if they could. It's such a treat to get his language, anytime you hear him. The same with Anne's play, it's real good language. I think people will enjoy that."

B.D. Rogers of the Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre Company, director of Tennessee Williams' "Camino Real," is the man who would have us all read the playwright's work every day. "Anne's play" is "I Wrote this Play to Make You Love Me," written and performed by New Yorker Anne Thibault, who is a guest artist with Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre.

Both productions will swoop into Kenai, making a stop at the Kenai Performers' Playhouse in Old Town. Neither production, strangely enough, is Shakespeare.

Not so strange from Rogers' perspective. William Shakespeare is known for the poetry of his work, and the spectacle of his epic dramas. "Camino Real," playing at 7 p.m. on Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Playhouse, is also known for its lyrical qualities. FST supplies its own dash of spectacle.

"His (Tennessee Williams') language is so fantastic images, that create symbols, that create metaphors. And I guess about 80 percent of the show, music is going on, so there's a real neat interplay between the actors and the musicians, trying to play off each other," Rogers said of Camino Real.

"In a sense that he tries to create that new form, that plastic form. In this one he's adding all art forms to create and it's more common now, obviously but he's got art, cinematic, music, song; we've got six members to the orchestra, with mime, dance, kind of a light show. It's just got everything," Rogers said of "Camino Real."

The title of the play is translated as "King's Highway." Williams writes a collection of characters from his own imagination into interactions with recognizable characters from Western Literature, such as Don Quixote, as they travel or stand still along the thoroughfare of life and death.

"These people, have they stayed along a certain track, a certain place in their life, to get caught there? Of course, on the poor side of the street, we don't know their history, but they all have history, too. They all lined up in this place where they can't get out of, where they don't want to be."

Along those same lines, Anne Thibault's "I Wrote this Play to Make You Love Me" offers the audience a chance to peek in on a single woman's journey.

In this semi-autobiographical one-woman show, Thibault presents the story of itinerant actress Lysette as she attempts to fill the void left by an absent mother with a string of unsuitable men and short term acting jobs. According to Rogers, Thibault's play was received very well in Fairbanks, but he cautions there are situations and language inappropriate for young people.

"I Wrote the Play to Make You Love Me" will run at 7 p.m. on Sunday at the Playhouse.

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