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Thursday, September 18, 2014

EL CENTRO - Vancouver Fringe Festival Entry Review

EL CENTRO - Starring Chris Cope and Michael Dickson. Directed by Cecilia Davis, Assistant Director Brett Willis

Showcased at the quaint Firehall Arts Centre 280 E. Cordova Street - Vancouver.

The setting- post Central American Conflicts. A Drunkard Professor Cohen postulates the past and limited future wretched from the emotional toil of Civil War. Brilliantly portrayed by Michael Dickson (Black Mountain Side, S.O.T.A). Michael takes the human psyche on a rum filled trip down the 'rabbit hole'. Recalling the violence, trauma and terror that was the ongoing battles in Central America in the early 70's, 80's. Along this ride of P.T.S.D, with the Professor is Alex. A quirky A.D.D. adult who experienced living in Central America during the Civil War uprisings. His constant tweaking, jittery movements and paranoia gave a believable nuance to his character. Alex, played by Vancouver Actor Chris Cope (Boys in the Band). Chris and Michael create a dynamic chemistry on stage, that brings out the excellence in this play.

In one short hour, Michael and Chris take the audience on a psychotropic journey without using the drugs to get there. We the audience gain access into the traumatized minds of both Cohen and Alex. Cohen seems to cope with his memories via a bottle or two while Alex struggles outwardly. This play is methodical, intense and captivating. The audience's attention is drawn to simple yet poignant props (Alex's chair) and the endless bottles of Bacardi. Filled with imagery, this play drives you to the center of your human core. El Centro is contemplative, emotionally agonizing, and psychologically draining, simply put a Masterpiece for the mind.

This is the first Fringe Festival  appearance for both actors.


Vancouver Fringe Festival ran from Sept 5th-14th.

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