Director David Meneses puts together the dark comedy ‘Hunter Gatherers’

By Victor Ocasio
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With a shocking, comical, and thought-provoking story, Peter Sinn Nachrich’s dark comedy, “Hunter Gatherers” is a theatrical gem sure to entice audiences, and with its Orlando debut this Friday performed in its recent incarnation by the Art’s Sake Resident Ensemble, it guarantees to be like no other theater experience in town.

Under the direction of Art’s Sake Studio’s very own David Meneses and assistant director Derek Angell, the surreal story of four high school friends gathering for a reunion dinner is told with an almost brutal sense of honesty towards the human condition.

Filled from beginning to end with expertly timed sexual humor and an all too real tone of violence, this is most certainly not a play for the whole family. Audiences in attendance will be thrown backward as the four-actor cast skirts the edge of common theater and other-worldly symbolism.

“If these characters were to function at this level in the real world, we would all be in really big trouble,” said Meneses.

The production starts off as characters Richard (Jeremy Wood) and his wife Pam (Christy Poggi) begin the process of preparing dinner for their guests and old high school friends Wendy (Yvonne Suhor) and her husband Tom (Scott Browning). It soon enough becomes apparent that this group is a bit more dysfunctional then things might suggest.

“I loved it,” said audience member Jonathan Mcginley. “One of the reasons I like this studio so much is that there are so few theater companies in Orlando willing to tackle something like this.”

Driven by the age old conflict between animal instinct and humanity’s civilized constructs, interactions quickly descend from common pleasantries into a hyper violent and sexualized chaos that will keep the laughs coming while turning a mirror to the face of modern man.

“Richard could be someone that you could meet in the real world,” said Wood. “However, only in intense situations do we really see those type of people.”

At times the adult topics covered in the play seemed to be a little too much to handle given the ferocity at which the actors address them, but being aware of the fictional realm in which these characters live, it becomes something far less frightening and much more entertaining.

“Aside from being an entertaining play audiences will take away something else,” said Meneses. “To me, this play is about principal needs and getting to the core of those needs.”

Dates to see “Hunter Gatherers” run from nodiw until the end of the month, with upcoming performances on the 18th, 19th, 25th, and 26th and will be performed at Art’s Sake Studio located at 680 Clay Street, Winter Park. Don’t miss this, the most original production in the city.