Bryony Lavery’s Frozen, a 2004 Tony Award nominee for best play, opens this week at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul. Frozen follows the intertwining stories of a tattooed serial killer (Terry Hempleman), a grieving mother (Karen Landry) and a psychologist (Linda Kelsey) studying the criminal mind.
Frozen, a play written by Byrony Lavery and directed by Jim Cada. Presented March 7-30 by Park Square Theatre, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. For tickets ($18-$36), see parksquaretheatre.org.
The trio are brought together by a horrific event: the murder of a ten-year-old girl. A drifter named Robbie confesses to the murder, and twenty years after the crime he meets the child’s mother. A doctor studying serial killers questions whether Robbie’s act was completely his own, or whether it was an unfortunate outcome of his raising.
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“The characters are so compelling you can’t look away, and you will find yourself pondering the questions the show poses long after the curtain falls,” says artistic director Richard Cook in a published statement.
Director Jim Cada trusted the actors to work together as a team to deliver on what he calls a “very complicated script.” It was an important challenge to discover the humanity and humor in the characters and a script that revolves around a repulsive crime. A dialect coach and fight coordinator were brought in to add authenticity to the performances.
“All three characters go through major changes,” says Cada. “The first scenes are about being in a rigid psychological state.” Breaking through their frozen emotional condition is something the characters must overcome, and watching them develop is a riveting experience.
Cada believes spending over two intense hours with the characters in Frozen will invite audience members to question the options available to society for the punishment of criminals. “I hope it makes them think and feel.”
Rebecca Mitchell (email@example.com) is a graduate of the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. She lives in Uptown Minneapolis and is currently working in public relations.