by Bob Rich
The High Captain is an entertaining and thought-provoking look at politics. Eight shipwrecked barge workers try to establish a functional government on a desert island. We witness a spectrum of emotions during the power struggles on the island, from intense passion to tender consolation.
The play is engaging thanks to the conviction of the characters. Rousing monologues take place, with forceful lines such as: “What’s more dangerous? An enemy in exile or in our midst,” and “We must have our chance at freedom,” and “Concede no hope to darkness.”
The actors and actresses are highly spirited. The directing is full of energetic purpose, challenging us to consider issues related to authority and policymaking.
The props and costumes are clever and colorful, ranging from a blazing orange-and-red fire made from cardboard on the ground, a giant turtle suit that one character wears, and a big “Save Us!” sign on the stage.
Speaking with the show’s writer/producer Joe Jatcko afterwards, he explained that he hopes the audience can find themselves participating in the story philosophically, as they enjoy it. I certainly experienced that myself during The High Captain, as I considered meaningful topics with a smile.