The “Yankee Tavern” will be open to serve more than just what’s on the typical bar menu this weekend.
Belmont University’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present Steven Dietz’s “Yankee Tavern,” opening on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theater.
Dietz’s play, set in a run-down New York bar, deals with life in the aftermath of 9/11 for four different characters, an interesting mixture of conspiracy theorists and rationalists.
However, to director Sean Martin, the show is about more than just the astonishing conspiracy theories, dealing with topics like 9/11, the moon landing and more.
“It’s about our human need to find understanding; how hard it is for us to deal with things, to cope with things, understand things,” Martin said. “I didn’t want to make the focus of ‘Yankee Tavern’ all conspiracy, conspiracy, conspiracy. I wanted to focus on four individuals who are dealing with life.”
Joseph Mobley, who portrays the show’s protagonist Adam, relates to the pragmatism that his character holds amid the abounding theories, he said.
“I am very much like Adam in the pursuit of reason, going about things with logic and trying to lean on verifiable information,” said Mobley. “It’s a story about how we as people, all of us, even logical Adam and logical me, struggle to move past what we can’t know.”
Lauren Mincey believes her character, Janet, is one that many people in the audience will be able to identify with the most, she said.
Her character’s tenacity in the pursuit of truth and knowledge reflects that of Mincey’s own life, she said.
“She is the ordinary girl in the show, trying to get married, trying have a regular life, and pursuing that with all of her might, but things keep getting in the way.”
The set and sound design of “Yankee Tavern” also strive to closely emulate reality.
From the broken down jukebox to the rock ‘n’ roll tunes playing throughout the production, audiences will get the sense of an old, seedy bar on the verge of shutting down. But Martin wants the play to be challenging as well as relatable. He wants audiences to leave the Manhattan bar asking questions, he said.
“I hope people see it and reevaluate how much of their life is spent on phones,” said Martin. “We are forgetting to focus on reality. I think we live in a world where we do spend too much time on screens.”
“As human beings, we often forget to see what’s right in front of our face.”
All shows are free for Belmont students and will count toward convocation credit. The show will run Friday through Sunday, and then again from Sept. 27-29. For tickets, clickhere.
This article written by Kendall Crawford. Photos by Libby Green.