The Lyons’ dysfunctional family provides relatable theme from 5th Wall Theatre this weekend
5th Wall Theatre’s The Lyons will premiere January 15th at the Richmond Triangle Players theatre in Scott’s Addition. The Lyons is a play written by Nicky Silver that premiered Off-Broadway in 2011, moving to Broadway in 2012.
The first act of the play centers around Ben, the father and patriarch of the Lyons family, as he is dying in a hospital bed. Ben no longer controls his speech, ignoring social niceties. His wife, Rita, and grown children Curtis and Lisa gather in his final days. The act takes place almost entirely in Ben’s hospital room.
Billy Christopher Maupin, 5th Wall’s Associate Artistic Director and Marketing Director, is directing the production and is excited about the unique play. “As we were deciding a season this was a play I had read before it had transferred to Broadway and I read the script and completely fell in love with it,” said Maupin. “I was like, we have to do this play. So it fit really well with the other things we wanted to do this season. Three years later its really exciting to go to work on it.”
After producing four shows independently from March 2013 until last summer, Maupin and Carol Piersol, an alumnus of the Firehouse Theatre Project, started 5th Wall Theatre. This is 5th Wall Theatre’s second production, and they hope to attract a wide audience. The themes essential themes of the work, trying to find a place in the world and a struggle to connect with others were described by Maupin as universal.
“I think it is kind of a broad audience [production] because it is about family, which is something that practically everyone can identify with,” said Maupin. “And a dysfunctional family, so uncomfortably enough we might all see at least glimpses of what our family dynamic is in these people.”
Richmond Triangle Players theatre is being rented by 5th Wall for the production, and though RTP has no official involvement they are offering their support, spreading the word and offering what Maupin called camaraderie. “We started a new company which in some markets some people might view as a competition or someone to kind of push away its been really great to share resources and really have a sense of community as opposed to a sense of competition. We all know were all striving to create something to better the world- to be all artsy fartsy about it.”
Not to say that RTP’s goals aren’t represented in the production. “There is a strong homosexual character who does take us through the journey of most of the play, so that does tap into that audience as well,” said Maupin.
Maupin did stress his belief that the play was for everyone, “The writing is beautiful and brilliant and hysterical and then also very poignant and moving at times. So it’s a really beautifully constructed play and a really beautifully written play that I think really speaks to a wide variety of people.”
The Lyons opens tonight, 1/15 and runs through 2/7
Ben Weiner is a contributor for GayRVA and RVAMag. 'Nuff said.
It more largely illuminates how hard it can be to forge both a satisfying career and a fulfilling personal life in an era that seems to demand superhuman achievement from everyone.September 19, 2016
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