Guthrie's Pollard Theatre offers actor-driven comedy God of Carnage 

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The Pollard Theatre Company in Guthrie debuts its presentation of parenthood-fueled comedy God of Carnage Feb. 5-27 at 120 W. Harrison Avenue in Guthrie.

Written by Yasmina Reza, the play centers on boiling-over emotions when two sets of parents meet to discuss the behavior of their children.

God of Carnage was a critical and fan success on Broadway, most notably in 2009 with a cast featuring James Gandolfini, Jeff Daniels, Marcia Gay Harden and Hope Davis. It earned a Tony Award for best play and a Laurence Olivier Award for best comedy.

“[The characters] start out as very civil and maybe on just a little bit of an edge, and then things just devolve and they become more like children themselves,” said Linda McDonald, who directs the production for Pollard Theatre.

McDonald said it is thrilling and challenging to direct the 90-minute show because the type of comedy it contains hinges so heavily on four actors.

“It’s very much a character-driven comedy even though it has a compelling situation, but the thing that makes it funny isn’t because it’s slapstick or something,” she said. “It’s funny simply because the characters take it so seriously.”

‘Extremely talented’

Pollard’s four-person cast includes James A. Hughes, Susan Riley, Renee Krapff and Timothy Stewart.

“All four are onstage from the time the curtain goes up to the time the curtain goes down,” McDonald said.

She is familiar with the “small and extremely talented” group of actors and said it is a privilege to work so closely with them.

McDonald got involved with God of Carnage after Pollard leadership invited her to direct it. This production marks her directorial debut for the Guthrie performance venue.

She also is an accomplished writer, winning the 2013 Oklahoma Book of the Year in fiction for her first novel, Crimes of Redemption.

Though she does not currently perform with the theater company, McDonald has acted in several past productions.

She also has directed Of Mice and Men for OKC Theatre Company and Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles for Jewel Box Theatre.

Other upcoming Pollard productions include Hairspray, running April 15-May 7, and American Idiot, running June 10-July 2. Learn more at thepollard.org.

Print Headline: Brutal comedy, Guthrie’s Pollard Theatre delivers 90-minute chuckle God of Carnage.

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