M.F.A. student’s creative impulse makes coming unhinged come together on stage in a contemporary adaptation of a Victorian classic
www.utexas.edu Oct. 24, 2011
Director and College of Fine Arts student Daria Davis points to an unlikely character for providing the most important lines of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” Jeffrey Hatcher’s modern adaptation of the iconic tale. In the closing scene of Act One, an otherwise unmentioned parlor maid gives a statement to the police after witnessing Edward Hyde commit a heinous act of violence.
“I’m sorry. The better in me would have called out sooner,” the maid stammers, “but the bad in me … wanted to watch.”
That friction that exists between contradictory impulses – not just the dilemma of doing what’s right or wrong but between public posturing and private desires – serves as the focal point for “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” which opens at the B. Iden Payne Theatre on Friday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m.
“The interesting, complex question that we try to address is what happens when you try and separate those two things into wholly good or evil,” poses Davis, a master’s of fine arts candidate in the Department of Theatre and Dance. “Where do they blend together? It’s about that push and pull of competing needs – that gray area.”
In popular culture, there seems to be a growing fascination with this dilemma, as anti-hero characters – Walter White on TV’s “Breaking Bad,” “The Wire”’s Omar Little, Dexter Morgan on “Dexter” – survive by their own moral codes and occasionally make terrible decisions for all the right reasons.
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