After runs in London and New York, Alexi Kaye Campbell's The Pride makes its San Diego premiere this week at Diversionary Theatre.
The Pride is a time shifting exploration of identity and passion. Oliver, Philip, and Sylvia are caught in a love triangle. Their complex and tumultuous relationship shifts from the repression of 1958 to the sexual liberation of 2008 and back again. Characters in the past and modern day share the same names and are played by the same actors. It starts in 1958 with Philip, an uptight estate agent, and his wife Sylvia, who are entertaining a young novelist, Oliver. There is an unspoken but palpable tension that results in a passionate and guilt ridden affair between Philip and Oliver. Sylvia is filled with a deep loneliness and caught in a loveless marriage. In 2008, Oliver is a sex-addicted journalist who longs to get back together with his ex, Philip. Sylvia plays the friend stuck in the middle.
2011 Craig Noel winning director Glenn Paris (Angels in America part 1 and 2) directs this look at love, betrayal and personal pride by Alexi Kaye Campbell. Featuring four of San Diego's most acclaimed actors, Francis Gercke (Philip), Jessica John (Sylvia), Brian Mackey (Oliver), and Dangerfield G. Moore (Doctor, Man, Peter).
The design team includes Matt Scott (scenic), Michelle Caron (lighting), David Medina (props), Omar Ramos (sound & original Music) and Trista Roland (costumes).
In his play The Pride, playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell explores how taking pride in oneself is necessary for change. The gay community is still working towards equal rights (marriage equality) and how to be part of the larger world. How has gay rights progressed since 1958, (living more out and open, repeal of don't ask don't tell, gay marriage in some states, etc.) and where can we still make progress?
Alexi speaks about the process of writing a play as "something that comes from somewhere unconscious which is not mine and so my interpretation of what I've written is a subjective one." According to Campbell, "The real core of the play is in these people (the three main characters) all trying to understand something of the forces that drive them."
The Pride Director, Glenn Paris was drawn to the theme of pride in the play, saying, "The character, Oliver in 2008 makes the argument that one should be proud of who they are, in his case a gay man, and the play develops the idea that taking pride in ourselves is political within the context of community. The playwright, Alexi Kaye Campbell furthers the idea by developing the theme that pride in one's community is necessary for change."
He is also drawn to challenging roles for the actors, "The Pride is unique in its style and a lot of fun for the three principle actors as they alternate between playing characters in 1958 and 2008. Their names are the same but they are different people in different relationships."
About the Company:
Alexi Kaye Campbell (Author) Alexi's first play, The Pride, was on at The Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in November 2008 for which he was awarded the Critic's Circle Prize for Most Promising Playwright and the John Whiting award for Best New Play. The production was also awarded the Olivier award for Outstanding Achievement in an affiliate theatre. The Pride then transferred to America and was produced at MCC Theatre in New York in January 2010 directed by Joe Mantello. His second play, Apologia was on at the Bush Theatre in the summer of 2009, directed by Josie Rourke. Apologia was short- listed for The John Whiting Award and nominated for Best Play at the Writers Guild Awards 2009. In June 2011 a revival of The Pride was produced at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, directed by Richard Wilson. Alexi's third play The Faith Machine directed by Jamie Lloyd, premiered at the Royal Court in August 2010. Alexi's plays have been produced in many countries, including Australia, Germany, Sweden, Greece and Belgium. He is currently under commission at Hampstead Theatre and The Royal National Theatre.