Pictured: Kaitlin Williams and Katharine Venour. Photo by Jalen Saip.
Clara Campbell looks around at her family’s horrified faces around the dinner table. She had a whole speech prepared and was waiting for the right moment to tell them. All that’s gone out the window when she blurts it out: She’s Christian.
In Jesus Freak, playwright Peter Boychuk explores difference and acceptance in families. When families diverge and adopt different values from one another, what is it that ties them together? Usually this is done by the child declaring something liberal, like homosexuality. Clara’s rather conservative declaration of her newfound faith throws everyone in her family off. They believe this makes her a different person, perhaps a person who is even opposed to who they are individually and as a family.
The Set by Brian Ball and lighting by Jill White are beautiful and well executed. The set depicts a well made away-from-civilization cabin in the woods complete with beautiful paintings of the woods on each side of the wall. The ambient lighting directly reflects the characters and their moods and shifts in relationships. It’s a pleasure to watch everyone grow from the experience.
This hilarious yet heartwarming play is short and sweet, getting to the point immediately and exactly. It wastes no time developing the characters and conflicts. The chemistry between Clara (Kaitlin Williams) and her brother Nate (Brandon Bate) is hilarious on top of Boychuk’s wry and witty humour, resembling real life siblings at times. Alan (Ron Reed) and Susan (Katherine Venour) are very believable concerned parents. They recognize the hard time Clara is going through, and are supportive and loving, but are having a difficult time accepting the new change. Catch the family dramedy at Pacific Theatre before it’s gone!