A group of dissatisfied couples are invited to a mysterious character’s home on New Year’s Eve. Guests venture into a mystical wood that shows them their life if they get everything they desire.
Running until June 5 at Anderson’s Mainstage Theater, “Dear Brutus” is directed by Erynn Erwin and is packed with themes about fate, second chances and the inner search to see where happiness really comes from.
“Dear Brutus” was written by JM Barrie, who is best known for writing the original “Peter Pan” story. Although this piece is not as well known, Erwin encourages audiences to give the show a chance and keep an open mind while watching it, because the story is worth it.
“It’s just such a great story with a lot of magical elements. I love directing plays. And the cast is just amazing. It’s so much fun to work with them. I have a great crew,” Erwin said. “It’s been a really nice experience to have the people involved that I have. And it’s a different type of story than what we’ve portrayed.
Although the play had magical elements, Erwin did not want to delve into those aspects because the story is ultimately about human experience, and she wanted that to come through in her staging.
“It’s something that makes people think, and…although there’s this nice element of fantasy, at the same time there’s a lot of realism to it,” Erwin said. “So I really worked with the actors to make them think about the choices the characters really make.”
Joshua Wilkinson plays Mr. Purdie, a young lawyer who travels to the mysterious house with his wife and mistress. Wilkinson thinks Mr. Purdie is the worst person in the group and thinks he is a romantic at heart, but during the play he realizes he has to come to terms with his character flaws. Playing this character proved to Wilkinson that he can play characters outside of his usual repertoire as he usually plays very broad characters in musicals.
“It really taught me to find the human core in any character,” Wilkinson said. “I think if I can learn to like this guy, and get the audience to end up not liking him, but understanding him, I can do that.”
Liz Justice plays Mrs. Purdie, who knows about her husband’s affair and wants a chance to fix her marriage or have her own happy ending. Justice’s favorite part of being this character is being able to switch between Mrs. Purdie’s split personality before and after her time in the woods. But Mrs. Purdie’s experience was this show’s biggest lesson in Justice.
“You might think you want a second chance, and once you get it, it might not be all it’s meant to be,” Justice said.
Erwin wants audiences to walk away with the idea that if you don’t look at what’s right in front of you or if you don’t see that what’s inside of you can be fulfilling, then you’ll be unhappy no matter what. arrived.
“I really want them to come to the conclusion on their own… come away with the idea that if we’re constantly looking for things outside of ourselves, we’ll never find that happiness,” Erwin said. .