Isabella premiers at the Black Box Theatre here at As220 (95 Empire Street), April 26th – 29th, with shows starting at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm. Isabella is written/directed by David Valentin, produced by Counter-Productions Theatre Company, and stars Victoria Ezikovich as the role of “Isabella.” When sitting down with the production crew, they all had this to say about the show:
What is your upcoming play Isabella about?
Isabella is a play that means different things to different people. Ultimately it is a play about loss and how the feeling of loss affects your decisions. Isabella takes a real look at its characters and shows the audience a gritty part of life that most people might overlook. It is a reflection of what it is like to live without shelter and survive in a world that is harsh and unforgiving, but still shines a glimmer of hope.
Do you feel that there is a strong message to Isabella?
Initially when the play was written, it was a play that could have sat on the refrigerator and never have seen the stage. It wasn’t until about the second or third drafting that Isabella shifted into something that could eventually become a full production. It was a play that breathed its own life and felt like it could go far beyond the first initial reading. The script has an element to it that everyone can relate to and find something within it that really hits home with them.
In what way has As220 helped to see the play from the script to becoming a live production?
Isabella needs to be shown in a personal space, and the Black Box is perfect for that. As220 already has so much atmosphere, and the downtown Providence location is a perfect backdrop for the setting of the show. The play couldn’t be better off premiering anywhere else.
What would you like to accomplish going forward with Isabella?
Submitting Isabella to various playwriting competitions and theatre festivals will help to get new theaters involved in producing the play, but just being able to share it with others is itself rewarding. Having people read the script and having Isabella’s message heard is more than enough.
How has making Isabella allowed you to grow as artists and what sort of connections has it made in the Rhode Island theatre community?
Telling the story of Isabella is inspiring because it allows us to watch the impact of young people and take a first look at what it means to put youthful determination to action. Isabella lets her voice be heard, and everybody who has worked on the play are all represented beautifully by this. It is the relationships in Isabella that make it so strong and visceral. Isabella speaks to us and resonates with what is going on in our world, and those qualities alone are enough to make her a hero.
Words by Dave Hurley