Things are getting dicey in the town of Hawboro.
“There’s been a scandal in the kissing booth at the county fair and three council members have had to resign,” said the play’s writer and director, Preston Lane.
“Two Wolves and a Lamb” is the seventh production in Triad Stage’s “Hawboro Project.” That is a series of plays loosely base on the Piedmont Triad and its people.
“If you look at this set, which is designed to be the courthouse square in Hawboro,” said Lane, as he looks out onto the stage for the play, which has a large, astroturf green base. “I think that Triad Stage really is a town square for the Piedmont, right? That this is an area that we can come together and talk about big ideas. We can listen to ideas, we can be inspired, we can take the dialogue from the theater back out and into the town.”
Taking the dialogue back into the town is essential, Lane and the others involved in this play believe.
“We get in what’s called silos, or echo chambers, with people we agree with, because it’s comfortable, it’s reassuring,” said Keaton Brower, who is serving as the dramaturg for this production. The dramaturg is charged with making sure everything in the current play is consistent from the previous ones.
Brower says he’s experienced the themes from the play being discussed, later, in the community.
“I think that speaks a lot to the power of what’s happening on stage that you overhear someone saying something and, naturally, a conversation starts bubbling. And I think theater is unique in that way to see a story in real time that is different, every night,” Brower said.
It’s different because, near the end of the play, the audience participates in a vote and, depending on who wins that vote, the cast uses a different ending to the play.
“We want to leave that up as a question, who are the forces in democracy that are making democracy strong and who are the people who aren’t?” Lane said.
And, give them something to talk about.
“Give them, I think, hopefully a way to talk about politics – which can be such a scary thing – and issues in a way that’s not so frightening,” Lane says.
“Two Wolves and a Lamb” runs through February at Triad Stage.
Hear more about it and watch scenes from the play in this edition of the Buckley Report.