The Rapidian

"God of Carnage" will take the stage at Dog Story Theater this Friday

A set of parents gather together to calmly discuss their sons unruly behavior at the playground. Uproarious havoc ensues when the parents become inherently childlike throughout their intended civil discussion.
(L) Jessie Congleton as Annette Raleigh (R) CJ Namenye Wood as Veronica Novak

(L) Jessie Congleton as Annette Raleigh (R) CJ Namenye Wood as Veronica Novak /God of Carnage Rehearsal

Tickets: $8 - $14

Friday 2/10 @ 8 p.m. Saturday 2/11 8 p.m. and Sunday 2/12 at 3 p.m.

(L) Colin Maxwell Beerens as Alan Raleigh (R) Matthew Swartz as Michael Novak

(L) Colin Maxwell Beerens as Alan Raleigh (R) Matthew Swartz as Michael Novak /God of Carnage Rehearsal

CJ Namenye Wood as Veronica Novak

CJ Namenye Wood as Veronica Novak /God of Carnage Rehearsal

After 11 year old boys Benjamin and Henry get into a fight on the playground, resulting in one child getting hit in the mouth and losing a few teeth, the four parents meet to discuss the unpleasantness calmly and politely. However, as tempers rise and neuroses collide, the night devolves into disturbing and hilarious mayhem.

God of Carnage will take the intimate stage at Dog Story Theater this Friday for a one weekend run. This production is produced by The University Wits and runs during the Lake Effect Fringe Festival (LEFF). God of Carnage features a powerful cast with direction by Morgan Springsteen.

This is Springsteen's second time directing for LEFF. In 2012 she directed a locally written one act play called I Went Searching For The Meaning of Life and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.

“I'm honored to be featured alongside the other amazing artists represented in this festival and thrilled to be returning. LEFF is a fantastic way to showcase a wide variety of art and entertainment, and it strives to broaden our community's appreciation for new and diverse art,” Springsteen said.

“God of Carnage felt like a perfect selection for this festival. As a relatively new play, written by a foreign woman, it covers heady topics such as racial and gender equality, while still finding ways to be uproariously funny."

Written by Yasmina Reza, God of Carnage is a Tony award winning dark comedy that originally premiered at the Theatre Antoine as Le Dieu du Carnage on January 25, 2008. Reza worked with Christopher Hampton on the English translation, which premiered at Gielgud Theatre in London's West End in March of 2008 according to Marin Theatre Company.

The play took the Broadway stage in 2009 with Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini, and Marcia Gay Harden. The play was a tour de force, nominating all four actors for a Tony. Harden took the win for Best Leading Actress in a play.

Grand Valley State University alum, Morgan Springsteen, urges the sentiment that this is not a play that spoon feeds audiences a moral. This play is for anyone looking for a smart comedy with relevant social commentary.

“This show in particular requires strongly developed characters, because Yasmina Reza drops you directly into the scene with very limited exposition. ”

“It requires the viewers to dig for the message, and in doing so, the results are that much more satisfying. I think every parent will relate to the carnal urge to protect their young. As humans, we like to tell ourselves we're above animal instincts, but it simply isn't true, and the more it comes out when you least expect it.”

The play runs February 10 and 11 at 8 p.m. and February 12 at 3 p.m. at Dog Story Theater, located at 7 Jefferson Ave. SE, downtown Grand Rapids.

The box office will open one hour before each performance. General admission tickets are $14, and student and senior tickets, which are available at the box office one hour before the performance, are $8. Tickets can also be purchased online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/god-of-carnage-tickets-31002170326?aff=erelexpmlt

“God of Carnage is a comedy of no manners. It takes classic forms of theater and experiments with them, with hilarious and poignant results. From a surface perspective, every character in this show is awful. I have to give props to my amazing cast for finding the earnestness within these deeply flawed people, which allows for some really beautiful and sympathetic moments – between the screaming and throwing things.”

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