“Seven Stories,” the high-school winter play, takes one suicidal man and 12 wacky characters and stuffs them all on the ledge of a seven-story building—just not at the same time.
According to director Brian Frishman, “Seven Stories” is an existential black comedy by Canadian playwright Morris Panych.
Dark but comedic plays are typical of Panych.
One of his more famous plays, “What Lies Before Us,” is about a railway survey team’s survival after being abandoned in the Canadian Rocky mountains.
Panych has also worked as an actor in shows such as the “X-Files” and has directed plays in Canada.
Panych’s “Seven Stories” revolves around one unnamed man’s struggle to decide whether he should commit suicide.
Junior Akilan Murugesan, the unnamed man, explained that the majority of the play is his reacting to the strange characters he meets on the building’s seventh story.
Frishman says the entire play will take place on a platform with seven windows that represents the building’s ledge.
“Just because the stage is so straightforward, it allows the acting to be the main part of (the play),” Murugesan said.
Junior Avi Bhullar plays one of these strange characters, an old woman named Lillian who encourages the man’s suicide.
Bhullar says the hardest part about playing Lillian is the dichotomy of the character.
“Portraying how wise she is as a character while maintaining the idea that she’s a crazy, grumpy old woman is hard,” she said.
Originally, the play was written for a cast of five, in which five actors would play 13 characters. However, to cast more people, Frishman expanded the cast to nine.
“(The actors) have to be good with comic characters, and they have to get the playwright’s meaning out,” Frishman said.
The play will open Thursday, Dec. 11, with tickets at $5 for students and $10 for adults.