‘The Last Cyclist’ rides its way into Mesa
April 4, 2017
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The Mesa College Theatre Company presented “The Last Cyclist” over the weekends of March 10 through March 17.
“The Last Cyclist,” written by Karel Svenk, provides a rare and humorous twist to difficult events that occurred in Europe during World War II that were otherwise horrifying. The play was reimagined by Naomi Patz, and directed by Kris Clark. It was performed in the Apolliad Theatre on Mesa campus.
When the production was originally written by Svenk, it was not performed “for fear of repercussions by the German Gestapo,” according to The Mesa College Theatre Company. Svenk wrote the play in the Terezin ghetto, which eventually became a concentration camp.
The play put on by The Mesa College Theatre Company began with SALLY, a character portrayed by SARA. SALLY’S character was an actress from the original play who is portrayed as one of the only surviving cast members. SALLY explained the comedic relief the play had on her and her fellow actors during such a trying time.
After her short speech, the play flashed back in time to when she was younger and learning the play with the other actors. They stood together and discussed the relief they felt expressing themselves through theatre during that time of their lives.
This introduction scene helped the audience visualize a background for the creation of the play.
After this scene, the actors made quick outfit changes and began to tell the tale of “The Last Cyclist.”
The play tells the story of lunatic Ma’am played by SUSAN, who erratically sets on a quest to eliminate all cyclists from the planet Earth. Her plan includes sending anyone who has owned, sold, or has had anything to do with a bike away to a place called “Horror Island.”
Along the way, Ma’am gathers accomplices to help her on her aggressive hunt. Originally, only her fellow lunatics joined her on the path of destruction, but as time went on the lunatics gained massive amounts of power. This forced others to join for fear of otherwise being sent to Horror Island.
Throughout the show, different stories are portrayed of individuals who were affected by the elimination of the cyclists. The play ultimately posed the question, why the cyclists? Why not anyone else? Overall, the theme of the production seemed to be a metaphor for the tragedy that was the Holocaust, even touching on today’s political climate.
Even with humorous and witty comments along the way, The Mesa College Theatre Company was able to perform “The Last Cyclist” in a way that portrayed the impactful message that was intended.