Actor Bob Weick plays Papa Briquet, the weary, long-suffering ringmaster and owner of the circus in He Who Gets Slapped. We extend the invitation to all of our actors, collaborators, and artists to share their thoughts on our PAC blog, and we were so delighted that Bob had a lovely portrait of his own journey to share alongside his portrayal of Papa, and his exploration of the play's themes on today's political climate.
How do we begin again? How can we remake our lives? How do we face the inevitable pain that comes with this brief gift of life? Must we run away from our past? How do we throw off the chains that hold us back? And, should we somehow find the courage to do so, where do we go? What awaits us on this new adventure?
Should you ever find yourself asking these questions, remember, "the circus turns no one away".
The story being told in He Who Gets Slapped, though written in 1916, is one we can still connect to today. Along with a great deal of humor and evocative music, we witness the horrors of class warfare.
"One of the many benefits of wealth....you can get away with anything".
"The rich buy up everything and lock it away."
The dehumanizing view of women as property: "Just put her in a pretty dress."
The fear of loneliness and aging. "You are not young or beautiful. What does it matter what you want."
The ever present threat of jealousy, despair: "There is only one thing for you.... To forget."
All this and more can be experienced in this production.
How we live our lives matters. Asking questions matters. Theatre has a special way of reminding us to look at the ourselves and the world we inherited. A world we will pass on the others.
Join us as we tell a tale of the beauty and courage to be found in life ... and in death.
- Bob Weick
Bob Weick in an undated photo, courtesy of Kaki Burns.
Thanks for reading the PAC blog, where we share what's happening behind the scenes, what we're thinking about this week, and what classic stories are inspiring us right now.