Basement Arts will be bringing Edward Albee”s play, “Finding the Sun,” to the Arena Theatre stage this Thursday through Saturday.
“Finding the Sun” is a one-act play depicting the story of two couples who decide to vacation together at the beach. The situation breeds trouble, however, because the two husbands were former lovers and are unable to let go of their romantic past and embrace their married lives.
Director Raquelle Stiefler says she was drawn to this particular play because of its message of “living life to its fullest.” By coupling dark humor and tragic situations, Albee attempts to illustrate how a willingness to settle for a less than desirable life can lead to fear, loneliness and dissatisfaction. The husbands of the show stay rooted in their seemingly perfect marriages when they would much rather be with one another.
“I want to jolt people,” Stiefler says. She explains how she hopes to scare people with what can happen if they make decisions for the wrong reasons. “The play is also about people who are never happy with their situation in life and what they have. I want people to realize how important it is to live life as fully as possible,” she said. Concerning the play, Albee wrote: “I am very concerned with the fact that so many people turn off because it is easier that they don”t stay fully aware during the course of their lives. I find that anything less than absolutely full, dangerous participation is an absolute waste of some rather valuable time.” In essence, this is what Stiefler is hoping audiences will be able to realize throughout the course of the play.
Because “Finding the Sun” is a one-act play, the entire show will take place on a single beach setting. The set is very important to Stiefler”s concept for the show. Through the set, Stiefler hopes to create a sense of imprisonment or entrapment, which runs analogous to the situations the characters find themselves in. The play takes place during an unspecified time period, although some of the language dates it back approximately 30 years. Stiefler explains that the costuming might seem a little dated as well, but she is not attempting to purposefully portray any time period.
Stiefler is well versed in Edward Albee”s plays, and she is drawn to his ability of setting humor to difficult situations. His dialogue is sharp and musical, without any wasted words. “Finding the Sun” is no different from his other shows in this aspect, as there is humorous dialogue sprinkled throughout the serious content. “It really is a fun show, despite its heavy messages,” Stiefler said. “And all the actors are in their bathing suits!”