CAST’s The Boatwright by Bo Wilson

On Saturday afternoon I saw the play The Boatwright by Bo Wilson. I haven’t been writing reviews of the local productions I’ve seen, but there are a few aspects of this event that I should preserve for future reference. For example, I thought this play was being done by the Community Theatre League, but it was actually CAST, the Community Academy of Stage and Theatre. This explains why I was not allowed to select my seat when I bought a ticket online. CAST is located on the third floor of the McDade Trade and Transit Centre. The performance took place in their black box theatre and rehearsal space which I had never seen before. Apparently this is the Moyer Studio Theatre and it is the CAST’s Studio Theatre which is presenting plays in this intimate setting. Their next show will be Other Desert Cities in June which I will want to see because I’ve recently read that play.

Bo Wilson is a member of National New Play Network’s New Play Exchange, a web site that promotes new plays, so I was able to recommend this play there. The Boatwright is definitely a great play which illustrated some of the story telling techniques I’ve been reading about. Both characters made an emotional journey and the boat was used as a metaphor for the desire to escape depression, by literally going on a voyage. This play had a positive message since it showed a positive way to deal with the loss of a loved one and the sense of loneliness and depression that such a loss may bring on. It also illustrated something that I have been pondering lately, the positive aspects of a personal dream or vision which allows you to make necessary changes in your life. If you cannot envision anything changing for you then nothing will ever get better. For this reason, vision is vitally important for making progress in life. At the end of the play, both characters had changed a little bit and this is a crucial aspect of any good story.

The play was directed by Isaac J. Conner who is associated with the RiverStage Community Theatre in Lewisburg. I’ve heard of this theater but they didn’t have a permanent home so I never added it to my notes. They may have found a permanent home in the Old Lewisburg High School on Market Street. But what was really interesting is their Gaspipe One-Act Festival, an annual festival of original one-act plays, written, directed and produced by local Susquehanna Valley playwrights and artists. I’ll have to submit something to them next year.

I parked at the Third Street Garage and had to pay for my parking ticket since this was not a regular Community Theatre League show, but that was only $1.75 for an hour and a half. I only mention that to note how much change I should have on me for next time.

In conclusion, attending this performance served as an excellent introduction to aspects of the local theater community which had escaped me.

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