Theatre B “Our Boy”
Gabrielle DeCristofaro • August 23, 2017 • 2017 Boulder International Fringe Festival •
“Our Boy”, performed by Carrie and David Winterseen of Theater B, starts out cryptically enough. The unnamed husband comes home to his unnamed wife, and we quickly learn that there is something amiss with their son, Mark. The beginning unfolds like a detective story. The husband knows something about their son, but doesn’t want to tell his wife. He’d rather let Mark tell her himself at a later time. However, about a third of the way in the wife starts to learn bit by bit what her husband doesn’t want to tell her. We are in a nondescript room, in Anywhere, USA. And besides a couple details (Mostly technological. A computer is used once, and a video filmed on a cell phone is alluded to), it could be Anytime, USA, too.
This story of the troubles involved in modern parenting and living in a small town can at times be extremely unsettling. I often felt anything ranging from uncomfortable to very angry. These parents can’t admit “our boy” could do something wrong. There was something Joyce Carol Oates-esque about the story and the reactions of the family. Without going into too much detail, this type of thing happens on college campuses all the time.
Carrie and David acted with genuine emotion on a very serious subject. The naturalness in which they performed showed how people would act learning about something terrible, without losing their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. I learned after the performance from the two actors that the playwright, Rob Urbinati, had dealt with this in his own life, only with his nephew, and was able to pull from that experience the way families can fall apart during such tragedies. Interestingly, I also learned that the script is written in a way in which the characters are basically just “Character A” and “Character B” and anyone can play either character. Character A doesn’t always necessarily have to be a female, and B doesn’t have to be a male.
“Our Boy” can be a hard watch at times, but it proves that, sometimes, we do need to have those difficult conversations.
You can Experience “Our Boy” at the Pine Street Fellowship