This could be the start of something big. Regional actor (and world traveler) Gregor McElvogue has been nursing the idea of a theater devoted to English language plays originating from anywhere besides the United Kingdom and the United States now for well over a year. Though English is either the official or de facto language in 89 other countries, works from any of them are very rarely seen on regional stages. His new company, Common Wealth Endeavors, plans on changing that. What he's calling its beta season opens Thursday with the American premiere of Canadian playwright Daniel Karasik's 2011 psychological drama, The Innocents.
Stanley and Aaron are twentysomethings from the privileged class. Stanley has rocketed through law school to become a pre-eminent attorney, while the disaffected Aaron has malingered himself into a murder charge after a messy breakup with his girlfriend. Now Stanley's representing Aaron, and as he interviews him in the jailhouse, each sees in the other the road not taken. But beyond a point, Stanley and Aaron gradually turn into even more uncomfortable mirrors for themselves.
Karasik has said The Innocents is "about what it means to be a young person in a big city in the contemporary West." Toronto's Globe and Mail called the play "Aaron Sorkin on speed." McElvogue and Rachel Klem direct an ensemble including Matthew Hager, Scott Heath, Hilary Edwards and Alice Rose Turner. —Byron Woods