Sunday, April 02, 2017

Hub Theatre Company Presents Another Winner - "Coyote On A Fence" by Bruce Graham - Through April 15th

The Hub Theatre Company continues to offer intriguing and well produced plays. The latest triumph is the riveting drama "Coyote On a Fence." Based on the stories of two actual death row inmates, this play by award-winning playwright Bruce Graham asks some difficult questions about who has the right to live and who deserves to die.

John Brennan (Mark Krawczyk) is an articulate and arrogant writer who got caught up in a deadly drug deal gone wrong. He is a controversial resident on death row because he publishes and edits a newspaper that seeks to humanize the prisoners who await death by lethal injection. He is joined in a neighboring death row cell by Bobby Reyburn (Cameron Gosselin), who has just been released from a record-breaking six-year stint in solitary confinement. He is an ignorant and militant member of the Aryan Brotherhood. He committed arson against a Black church and was responsible for the horrific death of more than a dozen church attendees. He and Brennan could not be more different - yet they face the same fate at the hands of the state.

Cameron Gosselin as Bobby Reyburn
Mark Krawczyk as John Brennan
"Coyote On A Fence" by Bruce Graham
Hub Theatre Company of Boston
Through April 15th
Photo by Tim Gurczak

Sam Fried (Robert Orzalli) is a Jewish journalist from the New York Times who has taken an interest in Brennan's case, but refuses to engage in support of Reyburn because of the inmate's virulent anti-Semitism. Shawna DuChamps (Regine Vital) is a prison guard who purports to be callous about the inmates she watches, but who must anesthetize herself against the chronic horrors of her workplace with generous doses of alcohol.

This quartet of fine actors are directed with precision by Daniel Bourque. The growing, but strained, bond between Reyburn and Brennan is portrayed with nuance and tension by Mr. Gosselin and Mr. Krawczyk. Their performances are among the most powerful and memorable of this season. Mr. Orzalli and Ms. Vital are also strong in their pivotal supporting roles.

Megan Kineen has designed a very credible death row set. Lighting by Jeremy Stein and Sound by Grant Furgiuele add to the tension and verisimilitude of the stark setting. Costumes by Nancy Ishihara serve a similar purpose.

Hub Theatre Company is know as an organization that offers each performance as a "pay what you can" arrangement. Recently, an audience member was so moved by this production that upon exiting the theater, he wrote a check for a substantial amount. It was a generous and appropriate response to this gripping play and its multi-layered message about the value of life in the face of death. It was an appropriate gesture because Hub Theatre Company continues to make a substantial contribution to the arts scene here in Boston.

This play will run through April 15th. The house was full last evening, so you may want to go on-line now to reserve your place. I am not "on the fence" about this show: I loved it! I think you will, too.

Hub Theatre Website



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