Columbia natives Dean Poynor and Monica Wyche are returning to South Carolina this month, bringing a new play to 2018 Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, with their theatre collective, The Salvage Company.
Poynor and Wyche met years ago while both were company members at Trustus Theatre, where they performed together in BUG, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, and WONDER OF THE WORLD, as well as with the We’re Not Your Mother’s Players improv comedy group. Since then, Poynor has become an award-winning playwright with his plays produced in New York, Nashville, Minneapolis, and more. Wyche has worked steadily in film and TV, landing roles on shows including Law and Order:SVU, Blindspot, The Defenders, The Looming Tower, and a recurring role as ‘Rita Laslen’ on Hulu’s The Path.
The Salvage Company has performed in Australia, Key West, New York, and now returns to the Piccolo Spoleto Festival for the second time with Poynor’s staggering play, TOGETHER WE ARE MAKING A POEM IN HONOR OF LIFE. The play follows a mother and father as they navigate a series of support group meetings after losing their child in a school shooting. Told in a fragmented storytelling style, this play follows them – both individually and together – as they struggle to remember what they’ve lost. But as they come closer to comprehending the tragic event that took their child, they find it more and more difficult to connect with each other. This intimate two-person drama explores what it means to be a parent in the face of unimaginable loss.
This play is Poynor’s personal response to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and other acts of violence against children. Poynor says, “As a father, I am affected by these events in unexpected ways. I am especially interested in the idea of potential, and the grammatical construction ‘would have been.’ I recognize the hope and hopelessness buried in these words, and I believe the stories we tell become vital touchstones in answering the question of ‘How do we keep on going?’”
TOGETHER WE ARE MAKING A POEM IN HONOR OF LIFE is an immersive (but not interactive) theatrical experience, with the audience actually joining the actors in the circle of support group chairs. Because of this intimate staging, seating is limited to fifty people per performance. Already, the Charleston City Paper has named the show one of the top three theatre performances to see at the festival. (https://m.charlestoncitypaper.com/CultureShock/archives/2018/05/01/piccolo-tickets-on-sale-now-heres-what-you-should-see)
A special invited preview for members of the Charleston chapter of Moms Demand Action will take place on Friday, May 25th, with a talkback after the show. Public performances will take place Saturday, May 26th at 2:00 and 7:00, Sunday, May 27th at 4:00, and Monday, May 28th at 7:00. Tickets are $21, and are available at www.piccolospoleto.com or at www.thesalvagecompany.com.