AWT showcases the nuclear family in an all-new production

AWT’s third production during the 2020/21 season runs online from March 1-15

Editor’s note: Please note the author of this piece, Elizabeth Nygren, is also involved in the production as a castmember.

The TRU Actors Workshop Theatre debuts their first show of the Winter 2021 semester and third show of the season, Dimly Perceived Threats to the System by Jon Klein.

This show features a cast of six upper-level acting students and student and professional designers from TRU and the Kamloops community. The show was directed by TRU professor Robin Nichol and co-directed by senior theatre student Jeffrey Daniels.

Emma Pettitt is a third-year acting student in the theatre program, and this is her second production with AWT. Pettitt plays Megan Lone, the mistress of Josh Hauser.

“The show is basically about a dysfunctional family who is figuring out life with just a whole bunch of complications and issues that come at hand,” Pettitt said. “It focuses a lot on typical family value issues and what makes a correct family.” 

Josh (played by Caleb Oman) and Marlys Hauser (played by Elizabeth Nygren) are navigating parenting, marriage and struggle to maintain a functional life for their rebellious, 13-year-old daughter Christine (played by Alexa Rood).

Dimly Perceived Threats to the System is Rood’s fourth production at the Actors Workshop Theatre, and she is a third-year acting student in the theatre program. 

“I think people will like my character because she’s like the angry, angsty teenager that some of us were and some of us thought about being, but we never were,” Rood said. “It was fun to live vicariously through Christine for a little bit and yell and throw coke cans and things like that.”

Over the course of seven weeks, the cast and crew went through the rehearsal process with COVID-19 protocols in place to get the show on its feet. The cast and crew were required to wear masks at all times, and the actors were only permitted to remove their masks when acting on stage.

“We’re not allowed to come withing sex feet of each other,” Rood said, “we’re not allowed to touch each other, which is really weird because there are definitely times where I’m in a scene, and I feel like ‘oh, it would make sense to touch my scene partner here,’ but obviously, we’re not allowed to.”

“People should watch this show because it is hilarious,” Pettitt said. “It’s definitely a comedy, and I feel like it appeals to a lot of people because it centres around family. Whether or not people have issues with family, I’m sure there’s something they can relate to in the sense of like a moody teenage daughter or parents who focus a lot on their work.” 

Dimly Perceived Threats to the System will be available at from March 1 – 15. The show runs around 100 minutes long, and one link costs $16.50. Each link will be available for 24 hours at the time of purchase.