On Clover Road: A Roller-Coaster Ride of Suspense
The ‘thriller’ has long been a popular genre in film and theatre. Deathtrap enjoyed a four-year run on Broadway with 1,793 performances. It also had a successful run at Elmwood Playhouse in 2006. Michael Edan, who directed that production, will be directing another thriller opening January 12th, at Elmwood Playhouse. On Clover Road by the prolific and award-winning playwright Steven Dietz, whose plays have been seen at over one hundred regional theatres in the United States, as well as Off-Broadway and in over twenty countries internationally, ventures into the thriller territory with diabolical abandon. The play, seen at multiple U.S. theatres as part of a National New Play Network rolling World premiere, has received enthusiastic audience response as well as noteworthy reviews.
Unnerving and intensely physical…”
– MD Theatre Guide
Uncanny in its ability to surprise, the play itself takes you on not only a dangerous and thrilling ride but also quite an emotional one.”
– Broadway World (Seattle)
The Elmwood Playhouse production will be the East Coast Premiere of the play. And it’s story? Like any noteworthy thriller it has twists and surprises. Taking place in a seedy, abandoned motel room, a desperate mother seeks to be reunited with her missing daughter who has been found living in a cult. There’s a kidnapping, a sadistic deprogrammer, the cult leader himself. The window is boarded up, the doors have 2 x 4 planks to prevent exiting. There are power games, lies, suspicions, more lies, rope, a gun, and oh yes, a teddy bear. With all this you can bet something will go wrong.
What compels the audience is seeing characters pushed beyond their limits, to a point where what they do and how far they go comes not from the brain but a deeper, more primal place.”
– Indy Star
Depth of Characters
But On Clover Road also possesses characters with psychological depth. “What drew me to this play,” says director Michael Edan, “was beneath and within its theatrical surprise value and its dark rawness, was the sting of longing – to find redemption, to find what is lost, to reconnect to what’s important, which of course is always relationship, always love. The road back to the place of ‘home’, whatever it may be for each individual, is sometimes a treacherous one. That journey is not always completed successfully. And yet sometimes, we’re left with a ray of hope that it can be. All the characters of On Clover Road have deep wounds and do what they believe they need to do in order to survive. In their own unique way each of them is grasping for power and control to fill the emptiness and terror of their lives. As a thriller, the pace is rapid, the twists in the story plentiful, the action assertive, and the emotion intense; and underlying it all is the bond a mother has for her daughter.”
Dietz nails the iconic dramaturgical tropes of film noir and neo-noir: the corkscrew twists of plot and gasp-worthy shocks, the diabolical villainy, the cynical perversion of innocence.”
– The Seattle Times
On Clover Road opens January 12th and plays thru February 3rd. It plays 90 minutes with no intermission. A special audience talk-back with cast will be after the January 27th performance. Tickets are $25 for adults and $22 for seniors and students, and can be obtained via the theatre’s website http://www.elmwoodplayhouse.com or calling the box office at 845 353-1313.
You’ll want to make sure you don’t miss this roller-coaster ride of suspense.