This show was produced during January 10 — January 26, 2014
Express Tracks — A World Premiere
By Joseph M. Paprzycki
Directed By Lee Kiszonas
Daniel J. Tobin
Damien J. Wallace
Darryl A. Bell, Jr.
South Camden Theatre Company and author, Joseph M. Paprzycki, provide their audience with another unique and thought-provoking journey into the underbelly of society with Paprzycki’s latest production, EXPRESS TRACKS. Even as I wrote “underbelly of society”, I realized that any preconceptions or assumptions that one associates with those words will be exploded with this production. Paprzycki has a vital grasp on the people about whom he writes. They are complex and replete with the attitudes that their lives have afforded to them, but Paprzycki does not stereotype them. He also refuses to allow the audience to stereotype them.
Paprzycki sets this struggle in a commuter-line train moving between Camden and Trenton. As the play begins and the train car fills , one’s personal experiences tend to write the balance of the play. An estranged and angry youth, a newly found religious man, a needy and enabling young woman together with a quiet bookworm and an elderly man of his time blend together even while the differences between them strain the blending. The conflicts that arise seem uncomfortably “usual”, and the audience begins to plan the denouement … the confrontations, the revelations and the realizations. BUT, the audience will be wrong!
Paprzycki does not allow the audience to take the easy way out. These characters are damaged in ways buried beneath each of their bravura. It is only through the writing and situations that the true amount of damage is uncovered. Even when understood, the damage escalates in an unanticipated direction. Paprzycki and director, Lee Kiszonas, make the audience feel the fear in each character. As Kiszonas quotes in her program notes from a directing mentor, the director’s job is to “cast well, then stay the hell out of their way while keeping them from running into the furniture.” Kiszonas does an admirable job of handling the claustrophobic sense of a train car as the emotional and environmental heat builds. She works with her cast to provide a pulsating tension that leaves one gasping when the ultimate damage is finally done.
Funding has been made possible in part by the Camden County Cultural & Heritage Commission at Camden County College, through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.