The Department of Performing Arts has put on the two-act play “Harper Regan” written by Simon Stevens, from Oct. 1-7. The show follows Harper, a working mother attempting to see her dying father.
The play, set in various parts of England, goes through Harper’s interactions with various characters: her boss, her husband and daughter, a teenager she meets on the street, her mother, a man she stabs in a bar and a stranger she has an affair with.
Each intense interaction tells the audience something different about Harper, who later reveals her motives behind the actions, stemming from her own issues.
The intimate setting of Roberts Theatre in Scott Studios was perfect for the audience to feel closer to Harper’s life and story.
Because of the small theater size, the audience is pulled into the setting and all of the mishaps Harper becomes involved with. When she stabs a man for being a bit too forward, blood spurts out of his neck, off the stage and into the audience, bringing them closer to the show than ever.
“I actually kind of liked the part where she stabbed the guy at the bar,” said senior Meghan Windle. “It was a pretty crazy story, but I think the actors did an awesome job making the performance believable.”
The actor who was responsible for making the intense role of Harper Regan believable was senior Rebecca Hurd. As Harper Regan, Hurd shone with deep emotion compared to the other characters who were only on stage for about 15 minutes of the two hour show.
Hurd played Harper with such innocence that the audience was shocked with the myriad of immoral acts that occurred throughout.
“I really enjoyed how the play was more concerned with character than plot,” said sophomore David Patterson. “It gave the actors room to show their range and they did a great job with that freedom.”
A character who didn’t appear in more than two or three scenes but stood out significantly was Harper’s husband, Seth Regan, played by junior Christian Frost.
Frost stood out particularly because his put-together and professional character completely hid one of his deepest secrets. One would never guess that the father who wears a suit but stays home to help his daughter study for her major exams is a man who can’t get a job because he is a registered sex offender.
We find out, as Harper tells the man she is about to have an affair with, that Seth was arrested for taking photos of children playing in a park and saving them on to his computer. This caused a strain between Harper and her parents, who thought Seth was guilty of using the photos inappropriately, and gave her justification for her own wrongful actions.
The acting and dark themes expressed throughout “Harper Regan” set the bar for the upcoming shows from the performing arts department, including the musical “Oklahoma!” and the improv show “Instant Laughter.”