Red Deer Players production of ‘Indoor/Outdoor’ Red Deer Players actors Arick Yasinski, centre left, and Dan Vasquez tussle as Emily Cupples, left, and Roxzane Armstrong look on during a rehearsal of the Red Deer Players production of ‘Indoor/Outdoor.’ Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff

Indoor/Outdoor opens Red Deer Players’ new season

Director Ashley Mercia is a recent graduate of Red Deer College’s theatre program

American playwright Kenny Finkle takes an allegorical approach to human dilemmas about life and love in this bittersweet comedy that runs Oct. 14-29 at the Centennial Stage, accessed from the back of the Scott Block.

The plot revolves around a feline named Samantha who thinks she’s found the love of her life in her owner Shuman. Everything seems to be great at first — until Samantha begins to feel that Shuman doesn’t understand her — or even wants to understand her.

Things get complicated with the appearance of sexy alley cat Oscar, who starts Samantha questioning whether she’s an indoor or an outdoor cat. When aspiring pet therapist Matilda gets her oar in, hoping to solve the problem, the situation only gets worse.

In the end, Samantha is left to figure out on her own what does having a home and being loved really mean?

Director Ashley Mercia, a recent graduate of Red Deer College’s theatre program, is a cat person who fell in love with this script after reading it as a student. “I thought it was a really touching story. It made me laugh, and at the end, it made me cry.”

When she heard Red Deer Players were accepting play submissions, she suggested Indoor/Outdoor, and ended up helming the production. She’s directing with the help of her mentor, veteran local director Lori Lane.

Mercia said there won’t be any cat costumes on stage, so it will be easy to identify with the problems faced by Samantha, who has to choose between security or spontaneity. “The themes are about finding where you belong, growing up and trying to figure out who you are as a cat, or a person.”

You can look at this play on many levels, added the Red Deer resident, who’s working with a few acting colleagues from the improv/sketch comedy groups Bull Skit and Veal Skit — as well as with Roxzane Armstrong (whom she didn’t previously know) as Samantha.

Her biggest challenge, so far, is fitting all the action onto the small Centennial Stage. But Mercia intends to use spare set pieces and props to create several indoor and outdoor locations.

Mercia hopes viewers will get better insight into their pets — and their lives — through this emotional story.

Tickets are from reddeerplayers.com, Sunworks, or at the door.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

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