‘God of Carnage’ another Second Stage success

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Last weekend, just beyond the peaceful blades of grass swaying in the breeze blowing through Mills Lawn, something violent was brewing—something carnal.

Within the walls of the Fred Stone Theatre there was no wind and there were no peaceful blades of grass; only a fragmented black, red, and white backdrop behind a simple living room scene. For four days only, God of Carnage, a play directed by James Blaisdell ’17, inhabited this space.

The plot’s premise was easy enough to follow, as two sets of parents discuss an altercation that has happened between their young boys; Benjamin Raleigh hit Henry Novak in the face with a stick, breaking two of the latter’s teeth. While the parents’ meeting was the direct result of a violent act committed by offstage characters, it seemed hard to imagine how anything involving “carnage” could take place in the same room as a neat pile of books atop a coffee table. Tensions between the two couples started off high, however, with Veronica Novak (Allison Furlong ’20) writing in the official statement that Benjamin was “armed” with his stick. The raised eyebrows of Alan Raleigh (Malakai Green ’18) could have frozen the blood in the veins of anyone who has ever dared to accuse someone else’s child of bad behavior. From there, the argument only escalates, unravelling both marriages as façades are peeled away and each character is forced to come to terms with who they are and who they’ve married.

Blaisdell ’17 made excellent use of the Fred’s limited space. With a couch on one end of the stage and two chairs on the other, the characters never stayed in the same spot for very long.

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