Woman puts $1 billion bounty on traitorous ex-boyfriend in VIU play – Nanaimo News Bulletin
Vancouver Island University’s upcoming theatrical production will feature revenge, manipulation and choreography.
From March 3 to 5, the theater department of the VIU presents The visitor at the Malaspina Theater. The play tells the story of a wealthy woman who returns to her impoverished hometown and offers $1 billion if her traitorous ex-boyfriend, who still lives there, is killed.
“It’s almost like a clown in the sense that everything is big and over the top and dramatic and almost crazy to watch,” said actor Riley de Ruiter, who plays the ex-boyfriend.
“But the plot itself is very dark and it really highlights the moral dilemma we actually face: ‘what will you do for money?’ and ‘what’s too much to ask? ?’ “, added Emily Dunigan, who plays the billionaire in search of revenge.
The visitor is an adaptation of the 1956 play Visit by the Swiss playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Director Leon Potter said his version had been updated to make it more relevant. This is also done in the style of “physical theatre”.
“Rather than two people naturally being inside a scene, you’d actually have a choreographed routine that they would follow to help emphasize what’s going on…” Potter explained. “It’s less natural and real and more of an artistic statement.”
For Dunigan, physical theater combines his two loves: theater and dance. She was a dancer for 20 years and says the production is influenced by dance.
“We do a lot of interesting stuff,” she said. “We have a whole ballroom dancing section, which is quite interesting because usually it’s always musicals that just focus on things like that instead of traditional theater.”
Potter said he had trained in physical theater for a long time, but hadn’t incorporated it into a VIU production for many years. De Ruiter said the result is a unique hybrid of theater and dance.
“It’s not exactly a play, it’s not exactly a musical, it’s not exactly an opera. It’s kind of a mix of all of that,” he said.
This is the first time that Potter has presented an adaptation of Visit and he said he likes “to sink [his] teeth inside. It is also his first production at the Malaspina Theater since The Land of the Dead by William Shakespeare in March 2020.
“On the very last weekend of the show, we got a call saying ‘Nobody’s coming in, we’re locked in’ and that was it….” he said. “So, yeah, this is my first since coming back and I’m really excited about it too. Boy, it feels good to be back in rehearsals.
WHAT’S THIS… The visitor at the Malaspina Theater, VIU Bldg. 310, March 3-5. Tickets $15, $10 for students. Available at the door or online.