North Coast Rep Theatre explores 'This Random World'

THEATER PREVIEW:

Playwright Steven Dietz's "This Random World" (having its West Coast premiere at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach this weekend) examines how different life today is from the days most Baby Boomers knew growing up.

NCRT artistic director David Ellenstein, who has worked with Dietz before, said he was eager to bring "This Random World" to town and direct it, as soon as he read the script.

"This story is about a mother determined to maintain her independence, a daughter longing for adventure, two sisters seeking common ground, an Internet prank gone awry, and people trying to connect and find meaning in this upside down topsy-turvy world we live in," Ellenstein said.

"It's about how we get so focused on what we think we're after, we end up missing everything around us."

Bringing the story to life are eight actors: Anne Gee Byrd, Kevin Hapso Koppman, Lisel Gorell-Getz, Yolanda Franklin, Ava Hill, Diana Irvine, Patrick Zeller and Joe Paulson.

"The play has lots of humor along with some profound ideas about how things happen ... and it makes you think about stuff," Ellenstein said.

"It makes me wonder, 'Are we walking right past our opportunities?' Our world today is full of so much junk that it's hard sometimes to see the stuff right in front of us."

Ellenstein points out that Dietz, with about 35 or 40 plays to his credit, is among the top five or six most-produced playwrights in regional theaters.

His "This Random World" is constructed within a 10-scene format in which some scenes don't seem to go together, until later, when you find out they do ...

"So the actors have to keep the continuity with how it works, and at the same time, not spoil things before they are revealed," Ellenstein said.

"The audience will find lots to discover as they continue watching the play; things that seem random or arbitrary are not random nor arbitrary. And it's a very fun time as the play reveals itself.

It's the kind of the play that if you see it once and came back to see it again, the end would appear to be from an entirely different play."

• IF YOU GO: "This Random World" plays Feb. 24 to March 18, 2018 at North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. Tickets from $46. (858) 481-1055. northcoastrep.org

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