Character Development

Heyde Center stages locally created fantasy epic

Kristin Frosch, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Nic Seelaff (Marley), Miss Dee-Lovely (Hecafe), and Cathy Reitz (Satan).
Nic Seelaff (Marley), Miss Dee-Lovely (Hecafe),
and Cathy Reitz (Satan).

Fiction will soon meet reality on stage in the original play, Character Development, written and directed by Rozanna Bejin. Besides being wildly entertained, audiences should be prepared to think. The play is set on November 11, 2011 (11/11/11), a date that prophesizes the opening of the Gates of Time and Reality. High school students rehearsing a production of Macbeth suddenly find themselves interacting with an eclectic mix of fictional characters along the lines of Hecate, Satan, Jacob Marley, and the Three Little Pigs, just released from the confines of time. With themes surrounding mistaken identity and miscommunication, the fictional characters are given a chance to justify their actions within their own stories. Local playwright Rozanna Bejin’s idea for the magically crafted plot came from a careful observation of human interaction. “The idea for the play grew from this observation: Our lives are bombarded with so many stories, whether fiction, reality TV, or real lives,” said Bejin. “In all stories there are truths to be found but also misconceptions. To misunderstand a fictional character is one thing; but to misunderstand and to fix a real person’s life or character into a static form limits the possibilities for discovery and meaning in all our lives.” As much as the play is a clever spin on the interaction between fiction and reality, it is more of a social commentary on human thought. “By the end, audience members are reminded that their lives are dynamic, ever-changing, and not pre-plotted stories,” said Bejin. “We are not fixed characters, but open to change.”

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