“18 Victoria” showcases talented Hilltop Players

By Emily Salvatori, Editor

The semester’s theater season opened with the show “18 Victoria” on Feb. 22. The production’s cast, set and technical elements all work together well to tell the story of three siblings in a strained relationship as they deal with the death of their father. As they struggle to reconcile, it is announced that an asteroid will soon hit the Earth.

The show featured a strong cast. Grant VanCamp (Ben), Callie Carroll (Catherine) and Alex Gordon (Stephen) all gave excellent portrayals of the characters and showcased the dysfunctional family dynamic. The show centered around the oldest brother Stephen, who has been gone for 20 years. The performances from the actors were notable, especially Gordon’s, whose acting allowed the audience to see he had much more going on underneath the surface before it was even revealed to the audience what that was.

The set and props were minimalistic, but I thought this worked well because it complemented the show, but allowed the focus to remain on the acting and the storyline. The set consisted of three fragment-type platforms and three oddly shaped screens which had projections of pictures that went along with the story that was being told. These visuals were clever and mirrored the three siblings and the fractured relationships they had with one another.

The set paired with the technical elements enhanced the show. “18 Victoria” was an interesting play to watch because the actors rarely interacted throughout the story, yet none of the actors ever left the stage. This made the lighting important because only the character who was speaking had a spotlight on him/her, leaving the others in the background, but this did not detract from the character whose story was currently being told.

“18 Victoria” contained strong language and adult situations, but it wasn’t overdone or out of place within the context of the story.

This production is the world premiere of “18 Victoria,” and playwright Cody Daigle-Orians was on hand for opening night. Daigle-Orians said he was very impressed with the production, under the deftly understated direction of Maggie Balsley.

Curtain for the remaining performances of “18 Victoria” is at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and a matinee at 3 p.m. Sunday. If you have a chance, go see the show. It will make you uncomfortable; it will make you think. But mostly, it will entertain you for the 100-minute run time and beyond, provided the world lasts that long.

Photo Credit: Emily Salvatori

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