Drama "Ordinary People" Offers Stark Look At A Family In Crisis

Monday, June 19, 2017
From left, Sara Lapp as Jeannine Pratt and Henry Tollett as Conrad Jarrett, two high school students in the late 1970s coping with different challenges at home
From left, Sara Lapp as Jeannine Pratt and Henry Tollett as Conrad Jarrett, two high school students in the late 1970s coping with different challenges at home

Award-winning theater company Back Alley Productions will present its stage drama, “Ordinary People”, at the Mars Theatre, 117 N. Chattanooga St., in Lafayette.

Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., from June 30-July 15. Audience members are advised the show contains adult language and themes not suitable for children. Tickets can be purchased 30 minutes before showtime at the theater box office, or online at www.BAPshows.com.  

Review for "Ordinary People":
“Ordinary People” tells of disintegration of an upper-middle class family in the wake of a personal tragedy. The Jarretts consist of Calvin, a successful but slightly oblivious tax attorney; Beth, a socialite and matriarch who has turned cold towards her family; and Conrad, their youngest son. Their life is idealistic until Buck, their eldest son, is killed in a boating accident. 

“Judith Guest’s story offers a candid look at a family’s breakdown and partial recovery following tragic circumstances,” said Director Christopher Smith. “It’s an absorbing and authentic look at real people trying to survive a deeply painful event, using sometimes healthy and sometimes destructive means to do so.” 

The story begins when Conrad, the youngest son, who returns home from a psychiatric hospital after a suicide attempt driven by a deep depression and unbearable survivor’s guilt. He feels alienated from his friends and family, so he begins seeing a psychiatrist, Dr. Berger. Before long, Berger learns that the entire Jarrett family is only happy and functional on the surface. In reality, each member of the family is still struggling with their own unexposed battles even a year after their tragedy. 

“'Ordinary People' offers a sharp examination of mental health, the struggles of a troubled family dynamics, and the everyday tragedies that happen all the time but often get buried by our urgent need as humans to return to normalcy as quickly as possible,” Mr. Smith added. “There’s a reason introspective dramas like Ordinary People exist. They are cathartic and inspiration, more than they are bleak and hopeless. There’s an element of community in knowing that we’re not fighting our personal battles alone, and theatre is one more way of dealing with or reflecting on life’s universal challenges.”  

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for students and seniors. For more information, visit www.BAPshows.com or call 706.621.9129 or 706.621.2907.

From left, Thomas White as Calvin Jarrett, Rebecca Lapp as Beth Jarrent and Henry Tollett as Conrad Jarrett
From left, Thomas White as Calvin Jarrett, Rebecca Lapp as Beth Jarrent and Henry Tollett as Conrad Jarrett

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