“Message to the Public. The causes of the disaster are these.”
So begins the play Terra Nova by Ted Tally, who actually took the ominous words from Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott, whose expedition to the South Pole is actually what the play is based on.
That real-life adventure back in the winter of 1911-1912 concerned two famed explorers, the Englishman Scott and the Norwegian Roald Amundsen, who raced each other to become the first men to the South Pole. Battling the brutal effects of the cold, exhaustion and starvation both teams managed to reach their destination with Amundsen the victor.
As legendary as this achievement is, however, it was the return back to the safety of base-camp that has grabbed a hold of imaginations ever since. Without spoiling the outcome (though I would argue a statute-of-limitations applies here), Terra Nova concerns itself with Scott’s British team. Though Amundsen appears quite frequently, it is more as a manifestation of Scott’s subconscious. Yes, the play powerfully depicts the grueling ordeal of these men, but that is played out against real psychological problems.
Indeed, I would describe this play as a psychological drama – an exploration into the natures and psyches of men willing to risk their lives for something so much bigger than themselves. Knowing, too, that Ted Tally happened to be the screenwriter behind The Silence of the Lambs, then this makes a huge amount of sense.
So that’s the world of the play that I will be bringing to life this January with Hero Now Theatre. I will be playing the role of Henry Bowers, whose reputation was described as, “…cheerful, hopeful, and indomitable…”. In addition to such a riveting story, what it going to make this production so worthwhile is the unique way in which Hero Now Theatre is staging the play. Utilizing a giant tent (with some heating), the show invites the audience to see the play outdoors and asks you (and us actors) to immerse ourselves in the Antarctic landscape in which these men lived and worked.
I think it’s going to be nothing like anyone has ever experienced and I for one, am thrilled to be a part of it. Not to mention there will be warm libations available during intermission. So if you are “hero enough” to come on board, know that you may be a little cold but hardly disappointed as you watch the story of these indomitable humans materialize in front of your eyes.
Performance Dates are:
- January 14, 15, 16, 2016, 7 p.m.
- January 17, 2016, 4 p.m.
The location is:
Central Park, Saint Anthony Village, 3301 Silver Lake Road NE, Saint Anthony MN 55418
For more info click here: http://heronowtheatre.org/terra-nova/