The Road Theatre Co is proud to present the premiere of "Nowhere on the Border" by Carlos Lacámara and directed by Stewart J. Zully. The play concerns itself with the question "Why do people cross borders?". Two working class men, an Anglo on border watch and a Mexican, face off in the desert. What is discovered is that border crossings are both physical and emotional. The play opened January 17 at the Road on Magnolia and will play through March 8. Director Zully took time out of a busy schedule to discuss the play.
What are your challenges directing Nowhere on the Border?
SZ: Many years ago I performed in an earlier draft of this play, and this was the first time I had directed a play that I had been in previously. It was interesting being reminded of my own acting choices from more than 10 years ago and then collaborating on new ones with the two actors performing this role (we have an alternate cast). Chet Grissom and Lance Guest are such experienced actors that it was rewarding to see them find their own character choices through our process.
What do you feel is the best feature(s) of the play? How does it speak to the audience?
SZ: Nowhere On The Border reminds us that we are more similar than different. When it comes to natural disasters, such as floods, fires, hurricanes, etc., we as a species get together as one—"Are you alright?” "Look at mother nature’s devastation, etc." Then, when the dust has settled, we get back to manmade problems, such as war, poverty, religion. This play is a reminder that we are all human, as the desert, a natural phenomenon, awakens in us an animal instinct. The characters in this play bond through adversity, and the audience gets to witness that.
Can you tell us a little bit about your cast?
SZ: I have been blessed with solid pros, in both casts, as the characters are inhabited by some well seasoned stage actors. I recommend people not only see the show, but actually see both casts, as the work is fascinating in the hands of different actors. The types that have been cast are vastly different in many ways, so the alternate cast puts its stamp on the roles thoroughly. And since we had to mix and match, having some of the actors in the alternate cast performing with the first cast, we have created a true ensemble of 12 people. I have been blessed with some enormous talent to direct.
What have you been up to as of late? How is your book doing?
SZ: Last year I published my memoir, MY LIFE IN YANKEE STADIUM Forty Years as a Vendor and Other Tales of Growing Up Somewhat Sane in the Bronx. The book tells the story of my working at the ballpark in New York for 2500 events as I pursued my career in show business as an actor, director, writer, and producer. For the past year I did promotion with interviews and book signings so it was nice to be able to stay in one place and focus on this play, which has been percolating at The Road for a number of years. And now, here it is…
Nowhere on the Border plays on Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 pm at the Road in The NoHo Senior Arts Colony that is located at 10747 Magnolia Blvd. in NoHo. There is plenty of street parking but arrive early. For tickets call 818-761-8838 or go to RoadTheatre.org.