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"TAPE," a one-act, three-actor play about two high school best friends from Michigan and their recollections of an alleged rape 10 years earlier, opens in Perseverance Theatre's Phoenix Room on Thursday, Jan. 19, for a six-night run.
The play stars Jon (Brady Ingledue), a California filmmaker who has a movie premiering at the Lansing (Mich.) Film Festival. His longtime friend Vince (Levi Fiehler), a volunteer firefighter in Oakland, Calif., who has taken to dealing drugs, has also returned for the festival.
They meet up in a Motel 6 room and start talking about Amy (Lily Hudson), a girl Vince dated in high school. He accuses Jon of raping her. Later in the play, she shows up at the hotel room.
"I think it's a very relevant piece, especially for kids in their early 20s and high school kids," director Colin Hovde said. "It's a very honest look at what rape is, and how the female reacts to it and how the male reacts to it, and how they define it."
"TAPE" runs at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Jan. 19-21 and Jan. 26-28. Admission is pay-as-you-can. The play lasts about 80 minutes with no intermission.
Richard Linklater directed a film adaptation of the play in 2001 with Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Robert Sean Leonard.
Hovde read the play while studying at the North Carolina School of Arts in Winston-Salem, N.C.
"I've been looking at it for a couple years now, and it's a really fascinating script," Hovde said. "At the age (25) I'm at right now, it's something that really speaks to me about the way we treat each other."
Hovde is in town as the assistant director for the main-stage production of "The Crucible." Born in Auburn, Wash., he spent five months in Taiwan and China after college, organizing the WAC international arts festival. He spent a few months assistant directing in Seattle and is now working on a fellowship at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. As part of that fellowship, he's the assistant artistic director for the Theater Alliance, a small, D.C.-based nonprofit that produces five shows a season. Later this year, the organization will present the Pangea Project, a festival of works from around the world.
Stephen Belber, an associate writer of "The Laramie Project," wrote "TAPE" in 2001. The story is driven by the intense but contentious friendship between Vince and Jon.
"It's like any relationship between very good friends," Hovde said. "They've been friends long enough to criticize each other pretty harshly but still not get offended by it too badly."