GREENFIELD — Dennis Cole was only going to direct the play if he found the right actors.

That’s what he told fellow board members of CrazyLake Acting Co. after deciding he wanted to direct Yasmina Reza’s “God of Carnage,” a Tony Award-winning Broadway production.

There are only four actors in the show, which centers on the parents of two 11-year-old boys who had a fight on a playground that resulted in one of the boys having his teeth knocked out. Those actors have their work cut out for them, too — with no break in the action or stepping off stage for any of the characters.

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Cole knew if he was going to do the show he needed to have believable characters. They had to look like they could be the parents to adolescent sons — actors in their late 20s or early 30s would likely be too young; someone in their late 50s might be too old.

He found the perfect actors in Trever Brown, Amanda Bell, Beth Clark and Robert Webster. The group has been rehearsing for weeks to get the script down.

CrazyLake Acting Co. presents Yasmina Reza’s “God of Carnage” this weekend and next at Twenty North Gallery in downtown Greenfield as part of a partnership with the Hancock County Arts Council.

The play focuses on two couples trying to reach an agreement about the best way to deal with their sons’ fight. It’s one continuous scene that begins with the parents being civil to one another and unfolds into a disaster, with the adults acting like children themselves. There are tears, screaming matches and even one of the mothers vomiting on stage.

It’s a comedy — but not the slapstick variety the acting company has put on in the past, Cole said.

“It’s different than what CrazyLake has done before,” Cole said. “The audience is going to laugh because they’re uncomfortable.”

Just a few days before Webster auditioned for the party of Alan, he saw Carnage, the movie the play is based on. He enjoyed the film and decided then if he could find someone directing it in the Indianapolis area, he’d audition.

Then Cole reached out to Webster about CrazyLake’s production.

The show highlights modern problems adults will be able to relate to, Webster said.

“It’s real. … At some point in the show, everyone is going to connect with the characters,” Webster said.

Bell and Clark, who play the mothers in the show, are both from Fishers. It’s their first time acting in a CrazyLake production.

They’re looking forward to the challenge the show will bring. It’s one continuous scene with no breaks, and the actors are on stage for its entirety. A small set, with audience members so close to the stage they could be part of the play, also adds a unique challenge.

There’s no room for error, Bell said.

She said her character, Veronica, is really good at telling her husband, Michael, played by Brown, what to do, and she likes to be in control, which is why she drafted the agreement the couples are working toward to avoid suing one another.

“It’s funny only because you see yourself in the characters,” she said. “You think, on my worst day, I might actually do these things.”

Cole hopes the show inspires audience members to leave the gallery and talk about what they’ve seen; the issues that surface are real, as the show spotlights problems many people face every day.

“It’s a very interesting look into who we are as human beings,” he said. “I’ve seen it and read the script so many times now, I should be bored, but I’m not.”

If you go

CrazyLake Acting Company presents Yasmina Reza’s “God of Carnage” at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and March 4 and 5 at the Twenty North Gallery, 20 N. State St. in Greenfield.

This adult-themed production explores the thin veneer of civility as two married couples meet to discuss a playground altercation between their pre-teen sons.

Tickets are available for $10 at Red Banana, 14 N. State St., or online at crazylake.com.

For more information, call 317-477-2787 or email colesix@gmail.com.

CrazyLake Acting Company presents Yasmina Reza’s “God of Carnage” at 8 p.m. Feb. 26 and 27 and March 4 and 5 at the Twenty North Gallery, 20 N. State St.

This adult-themed production explores the thin veneer of civility as two married couples meet to discuss a playground altercation between their pre-teen sons.

$10 tickets are available at Red Banana, 14 N. State St., or online at crazylake.com.

For more information, call 317-477-2787 or email colesix@gmail.com.

Author photo
Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.