BY KOLTON KNAPP
Who is Sylvia?
The answer to this question might shock an unsuspecting audience, much like it did the cast of characters. In “The Goat or Who is Sylvia?” Stevie Gray poses this same question to her husband Martin. The answer clearly shocked her when she discovered Sylvia was a delicate yet apparently sexy goat. Throughout the entire play, the audience goes from laughing hysterically to sitting completely somber in a matter of seconds.
“The subject matter is heavy,” said Andrew Hatfield, the actor who played Martin Gray. “It’s not something you deal with everyday. You just have to feel how real it is for the characters.”
Christina Stai, also known as Stevie Gray, talked about the difficulty she experienced in developing the 50-year-old mindset of her character.
“You have to dive into your character and engage with all ranges of emotion,” Stai said. “My biggest challenge was maintaining a connection with the audience, because the subject is so uncomfortable.”
Hatfield said it was difficult finding a willing crowd as a result of the challenges the play demands of its audience.
Although the play deals with such dark subject matters, Stai and Hatfield both enjoy the first scene’s sitcom feel.
“It sets us in a comfortable scene,” Hatfield said.
Although the play mimics a comedy in the beginning, it quickly drops once Martin reveals his affair to his best friend.
“It’s the hardest and most gratifying scene,” Stai said. “Stevie is just the best. She stays with her husband through all of this, and I don’t think I would.”
Stai and Hatfield are experienced actors. Stai has starred in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Blood Wedding” and “Heathers.” Hatfield has performed in “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Heathers.” Acting in many other performances, Stai and Hatfield said they have never been in anything exactly like this play before.
“This is a really special show,” Stai said. “Drake has never dipped its toes in this content before.”
Despite both Stai and Hatfield being seasoned performers, they said it’s still scary once the lights focus on them.
“It’s blind and scary, I wonder if I’m even going to remember my lines,” Stai said.
Stai revealed that while it is worrisome, fears begin to leave as soon as her co-star joins her onstage.
“We settle in,” Stai said. “It’s like watching a train wreck, and then suddenly it doesn’t crash.”
While both Hatfield and Stai agreed that the play is mostly for audience enjoyment, they also believe there are many lessons to be considered from it.
“Our society is moving in a direction away from a definitive line of ethics,” Hatfield said.
Stai said the audience will walk away and think about their own lives.
“I hope those watching will learn how they would approach these problems in their own lives,” Stai said.
So, who is Sylvia?
Perhaps Sylvia is just a goat, a measure of entertainment for a willing audience who is ready to laugh.
Stai and Hatfield believe that while it is for the pleasure of the viewers, it is also a lesson to be learned. Accordingly, the audience should be prepared to accomplish more than just laughing.