Sandra Hosking has spent most of her career in an office.“There’s these funny, quirky things about working in a office, and there’s these certain character types of people that you encounter,” Hosking said.
As part of the University of Idaho MFA playwright program, Hosking, a distance learning student based in Spokane Valley, Wash., wrote “Ordinary Time” for a UI production starting Thursday.
With only three actresses, the cast is small. Aleah, played by Park Williams, is the main character, while Sandra Williams (unrelated) and Emily Nash play six separate characters.
“The play started off just being a office comedy or satire, and all of a sudden it took a surreal turn, and Aleah went in a completely different direction,” Hosking said. “I can never seem to keep my work grounded in reality.”
So, director Jef Petersen said, Aleah mysteriously finds herself outside of the office in the world of 14th century England on the road to Canterbury.
“At first she doesn’t quite know how she got there,” Petersen said. “She doesn’t have anything to do with ending up in Canterbury. It’s a journey of self discovery and reconciling herself to a traumatic event that she experiences.”
Hosking compares Aleah’s journey to that of Dorothy in Wizard of Oz. In Dorothy’s black-and-white world, she knows people, and when transported to Oz, characters are seemingly similar to those in her real life.
“We find out, in the end, there may be a reason Aleah’s mistaking people,” Hosking said who wanted to use women from the 14th century era to contrast with women from our own.
Petersen and Hosking speak often and have had a few rehearsals together despite Hosking’s location.
“The biggest challenge has been working with a script that has never been performed before,” Petersen said. “There’s no information to go on from production history. It’s somewhat of a challenge, but also a great honor to work on a piece that’s never been done.”
The humorous drama debuts 7:30 p.m. today, continuing Friday, Saturday and Oct. 10-12. Matinees are 2 p.m. Sunday and Oct. 13. All performances are at the Hartung Theater, at the corner of Sixth Street and Stadium Drive.
“When you write a short story or a novel, you give it to somebody and they read it quietly,” Hosking said, “but when you write a play, you give it to some director and actor and they bring it on stage, read it aloud and bring it to life.”
Treffry can be reached at (208) 883-4640 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at: @LindseyTreffry.
->if you go:
WHAT: “Ordinary Time”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today-Friday, Oct. 10-12. Matinees are 2 p.m. Sunday and Oct. 13.
WHERE: Hartung Theater, University of Idaho campus, corner of Sixth Street and Stadium Drive
COST: Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, students and UI faculty and staff. UI students are free with ID. Tickets are available at the Kibbie Dome Ticket Office (208-885-7212) and at the door. More information can be found at uidaho.edu/theatre or by contacting the University of Idaho Department of Theatre Arts at (208) 885-6465 or email@example.com.