It can happen at Any Given Moment: Ship’s Co.’s intense new drama

Ships_Any_Given_Moment_2018-20 Wally MacKinnon is Bill in Kim Parkhill’s explosive, contemporary drama Any Given Moment, at Ship’s Company Theatre, Parrsboro, to Sept. 2 before a New Brunswick tour. (Dave Risk)

Halifax playwright Kim Parkhill explores the fear of random violence in her explosive, 90-minute drama, Any Given Moment, at Ship’s Company Theatre to Sept. 2.

Three disparate characters are caught in a city-block lock-down in a church. They have no idea what is going on outside.

This story starts with Emma, an unsettled, angry, 21-year-old young barista who knows “the world is shit.”

Played with intensity and rage by recent Dalhousie University theatre graduate Claudia Gutierrez-Perez, she is plagued by a mind of whirring, existential thought and wonders if people are connected, if one individual’s decision has a domino effect or no effect at all, if life has meaning or none.

Emma is forced to communicate with people when she is trapped with an uptight housewife and a homeless man, both of whom bring a lot of humour to Parkhill’s play.

Halifax actor Alexis Milligan finely hones Lisa, a stressed-out, upper class mother and housewife who is a bundle of fears.

New Brunswick actor, Wally MacKinnon, makes a welcome return to Ship’s as the lovable homeless man Bill, a tormented character who possesses the least in life but finds its smallest joys.

The three fear each other — as well as the unknown — but are forced to forge a tenuous connection.  Parkhill’s view of the world is ultimately optimistic.

Ships_Any_Given_Moment_2018-29
Claudia Gutierrez-Perez, Wally MacKinnon and Alexis Milligan star in Any Given Moment. (Dave Risk)

Parkhill’s ideas are good, thought-provoking and very current; her dramatic structure solid. She references the Moncton shootings and the Halifax mall plot.

As this co-production with Theatre New Brunswick tours New Brunswick, including Fredericton, from Sept. 4 to 16,  audience members will think of the recent, tragic Fredericton shootings.

Ship’s Company artistic producer Natasha MacLellan directs for conflict and suspense in the dimly lit church with set design by Katharine Jenkins-Ryan. Lights designed by Ingrid Risk and sound designed by Aaron Collier keep the fear of the outside world high.

Cathleen McCormack’s costumes are great for the Lululemon-like wear for Lisa, Bill’s homeless garb and Emma’s teen clothing.

Since I love details, I’d like to know exactly what did happen out there as they sat in the church. It’s left unclear.

Any Given Moment, running to Sept. 2 at 8 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sundays, is the last show MacLellan directs before joining Theatre New Brunswick this fall as its new artistic director.

While at Ship’s, she brought Jacob Sampson’s Chasing Champions: The Sam Langford Story, winner of six Merritt Awards, to the stage. Ship’s remounts this not-to-be-missed production Oct. 18 to 20 with Sampson, Marty Burt, Micha Cromwell and Zach Faye.
For tickets and more details call 1-800-565-SHOW or go online (www.shipscompanytheatre.com).

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