directed by Brian Parkinson
A United Players of Vancouver production
at Jericho Arts Centre
March 23 - April 15, 2018
TICKET & BOX OFFICE INFORMATION
Spotlight Article by Sabrina Furminger
The fall of the Enron Corporation in 2001 was one of the most shocking business stories of the new millennium. The numbers were staggering $63.4 billion in debt, at the time the largest corporate bankruptcy in history, and 20,000 jobs lost and yet the story of Enron isn’t just about numbers; it’s also about human beings, and the lows to which our species can sink when a vast sum of money is at stake.
Lucy Prebble’s masterful 2009 play Enron documents the astounding rise and dramatic crash of the Houston-based energy company. We meet the men who propelled Enron to success during the carefree, cash-happy 1990s: Enron founder Kenneth Lay; CEO Jeffrey Skilling, whose “mark to market” accounting framed projected profits as realities; Skilling’s protege Andy Fastow. We also meet Claudia Roe, an Enron executive and fictional amalgam of the various women who questioned Skilling's overreaching ambition.
These characters (both pulled from the headlines and created for the stage) engage in a game of financial smoke and mirrors whose impact on the cultural discourse around Big Business and wealth can be felt to this day. At once demystifying and illuminating, Enron is a fascinating theatrical deep-dive into a thoroughly modern scandal that was fueled by those most ancient of impulses: greed and power.
“It’s very interesting for me from the standpoint of, at this time last year, it seemed to be a straightforward historic play, and this year, it’s incredibly relevant, because of the politics that are happening across the line [in the United States],” says Brian Parkinson, director of United Players’ production of Enron.
One of the core themes in Enron that is of particular interest to Parkinson is corruption, and specifically “what it is that drives someone to cross the ethical line where, as lawyers argue, it’s not illegal and this is what Jeffrey Skilling’s argument was; ‘Nothing we did was illegal’ but it wasn’t right, and that’s a huge question,” he says. “Do you do it because it’s right or do you do it because it’s legal? Those are very different things, and they can have very different consequences.”
Audiences should prepare themselves for a no-holds-barred, highly theatrical experience, according to Parkinson. “It’s not a musical, but it has music in it. It’s not a dance piece, but it has choreography in it. It’s filled with projections and video, and a lot of it is archival footage from the 1990s, like President Clinton’s ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman’ video clips that are so imprinted in the minds of those of us who went through that period,” says Parkinson. “Everything that the theatre can offer comes at you in this show. It’s got a lot of rock and roll, and it’s a driving show. It’s relentless. It keeps moving forward, and quite a bit comes at you in quite a short time.”
United Players’ production of Enron features Linden Banks as Ken Lay, Michael Berdan as Jeffrey Skilling, Kurtis Maguire as Andy Fastow, and Lara Abadir as Claudia Roe. The ensemble includes Aidan Mavety, Caroline Sniatynski, Claire Hately, Claudia Golombiewski, Garett Moran, Jack Metcalfe, Jocelyn Tam, Jordan Navratil, Kevin Hatch, Lana Gonoratsky, Olivia Poon, Richard Coleman, and Ryan Price.
The production team includes Brian Parkinson (Director), Andree Karas (Executive Producer), Linda Begg (Producer, Set Decorator and Props Designer), Michael Methot (Technical Director & Lighting Designer), Pat Boudreau (Sound Designer/Composer), Jose Lee (Set Designer), Trudi Conradie (Assistant Director), Vanka Salim (Projection Designer), Harika Xu (Projection Designer), CS Ferguson-Vaux (Costume Designer), Nicol Spinolla (Choreographer), Victoria Porter (Stage Manager), Bruce Suttie (Head Carpenter) and Julia Migner (Assistant Stage Manager).
Brian Parkinson began directing professionally in England, subsequently returning to Canada to work in both academic and professional theatre. He has received awards and recognition for having made a significant and lasting contribution to Alberta’s theatrical heritage. With experience and interests ranging from the classics onwards, including musicals, revues and opera, Brian recently returned to Vancouver to continue his work as director and dialect coach. Brian directed the Jacobean tragedy, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, for Ensemble Theatre’s summer festival, and Welcome to Thebes, The Game of Love and Chance, and Company for United Players.
Lucy Prebble (born 1981) is a British writer for film, television, games and theatre. Her last play, The Effect, a study of love and neuroscience, was performed at the National Theatre and won the Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Play. Previously to that she wrote Enron (2010); her first play, The Sugar Syndrome (2003), won the George Devine Award and was performed at the Royal Court. For television, Prebble is the creator Secret Diary of a Call Girl, which aired on ITV and Showtime. She is co-executive producer and writer on HBO’s media mogul drama, Succession.
Prebble is fascinated by new technology and where it meets the arts. She wrote a weekly Tech column for the Observer newspaper and was head scene writer for Bungie’s wildly popular video game, Destiny. Prebble is an Associate Artist at the Old Vic Theatre.
-With files from Wikipedia and Knight Hall Agency
BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR Enron NOW
At the Jericho Arts Centre - 1675 Discovery (near Jericho Beach)
March 23 - April 15, 2018
Thursday through Sunday, at 8 pm
(2pm only on April 1, 8, 15)
$12 Preview: March 22
Talkback: March 28
Matinees: April 1, 8, 15 at 2pm
(no evening performances on those dates)
Single Tickets: $20 - $26
Jericho Arts Centre
1675 Discovery Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6R 4K5
TICKETS:Online or call 604 224 8007, ext. 2
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