CULTURE | THEATER
Peter (left, Brady Magruder) and Jason (Scott Miller) have a secret.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
“BARE WITNESS,” CONTINUED... are Brady Magruder, who plays Jason’s illicit lover, Peter; Isabella Mesenbrink as Ivy, their mutual friend; Haley McDaniel as Nadia, Jason’s sardonic twin sister; and Jerrod Galles as Matt, another member of their student circle. The younger cast is joined by experienced stage actors like Abbey Crawford, who plays Peter’s mother; Alyssa Day as drama teacher Sister Chantelle; and Todd
26 INLANDER MAY 23, 2019
Kehne as the nameless priest. As a kind of play-within-a-play conceit, the students’ relationships are channeled and paralleled through a school production of Romeo and Juliet. “That is one of the greatest love stories ever told. And to have the writers [evoke] the similarities of Romeo and Juliet, and having that flipped with two males por-
traying it, that is so brave and so beautiful,” says Miller. Incorporating Shakespeare’s play also allows Bare to tap into timeless themes of star-crossed lovers while depicting struggles and challengWEEKEND es that echo contempoC O U N T D OW N rary headlines. Get the scoop on this “You have so weekend’s events with many layers and levels our newsletter. Sign up at within Bare itself,” he Inlander.com/newsletter. says. “The story itself pertains so much to today’s world, more so than it did 20 years ago when it was written. Sex culture, pop culture, drug abuse — all of the scenarios and situations that these kids are going through are alive in schools today.” Nickerson is inclined to agree. “There was a time that I thought maybe a show like Bare wasn’t really relevant anymore. And then, I think with what’s happening right now in the world and with people, I feel like we’ve taken a step backwards. Things have gotten so crazy, and suicide rates are up. Maybe this story now is much more relevant again and it’s a good time to share it,” he says. And that process of sharing isn’t just with the audience. “This has brought people together who probably never would have hung out otherwise. It’s been an interesting journey for everybody. It’s opened up some pretty fantastic conversations. I think theater does that in general, but in this case it’s even been a little more special.” n Bare: A Pop Opera • May 24-June 16; Thu-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm • $20 • Stage Left Theater • 108 W. Third • spokanestageleft.org • 838-9727