The Wilde Coward Company of New Smyrna Beach is in full swing for their next production, The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde and adapted by John Osborne. This classic story by Wilde is the tale of an enchanted painting belonging to the young Dorian Gray. It grants him immortality but with a steep cost. Typically seen as a thriller, especially in its 1945 film version, the implications of Dorian’s dark deeds go even further than mere thrills and chills.
“It’s a morality tale,” says director, Rachel Yadanza, “It shows the downfall of an obsession with youth and beauty.” For this universal theme, WCC has chosen to pull the play out of its standard 19th century time period and play it more modern day.
For the upgrade, a little of the language has been changed and some roles have been gender-swapped. Rockie Kobrin, local community theatre veteran, has taken the role of “Aunt Georgina Fermor,” head of the family rather than the original “Lord Fermor.” And she’s just as formidable.
Many of the parts are the same as an audience would expect, with the show being carried by Clinton McChesney, Deland, as Lordy Henry; Adam Robert, Deland, as Basil Hallward; and of course Javad Osivand, Daytona Beach, as the titular Dorian Gray. This is the first show for Osivand in several years.
“It’s been quite an undertaking,” says Osivand, “Dorian is complex and twisted and weird. I like the challenge.” The melodrama of the show is not lost either, especially personified in Dorian’s tragic love, Sybil Vane, played by Nicole Mericle, Deltona.
“She’s young and impressionable,” says Mericle, “Very sweet, but kind of not aware what she’s gotten herself into.”
WCC is excited to present the incredible story of The Picture of Dorian Gray. To find out if love conquers all or if Dorian succumbs to his flawed sense of self, see it at the Shoestring Theatre in Lake Helen, FL on December 11, 12, and 13. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30pm, and the Sunday matinee is at 2:30pm. Tickets are $15 adults, $12 students and can be purchased at the door or online at www.wildecoward.com/tickets. For more information, please feel free to contact the WCC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-227-7444