The Dumb Waiter
Menace in the Air
“A darkly curious show,” is how Stephen John describes “The Dumb Waiter” by celebrated British playwright Harold Pinter.
“It’s short and sweet but so dense,” said John, a University of Idaho Theatre Arts MFA candidate and director of the play, which ran Sept. 13-17, 2017, at the Forge Theater in Moscow.
With a minimalist set that amplified the menacing tone of the play, “The Dumb Waiter” is classic Pinter, laced with little snaps of comedy that explore power and purpose in a claustrophobic setting.
“It’s a fascinating script for actors and directors with so many components,” John said. And with a big question at the end, he hoped the audience was provoked to discussion and drawing out their own conclusions.
In the roles of Ben and Gus were Gerrit Wilford and Dan Cassilagio. Both have several UI productions under their belts and both appeared in the award-winning “Medea: Her Story,” last year.
This was John’s first production on the UI campus and he brought a wealth of experience to the project: he’s participated in Scotland’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival with three separate shows, the Hollywood Fringe Festival where his own play was featured, and he toured the U.S. with a holiday show that culminated in three weeks at Madison Square Garden. John has served as a set designer, make-up artist, master electrician, and head carpenter. He holds a B.A. in Theater from California State University, Fullerton.
“I love the process of creating theater,” John said. “If you’re going to create your own work (as a director) you have to know all the elements.”
Next up, John will direct "True West" by Sam Shepard, from Mar. 30-April 8, at the Forge Theater.