God of Carnage: Another Twist from Silent House

Photo by Luke Larsen

Four people sit on stage, divided between two couches. They are two couples meeting for the first time to discuss a playground altercation that took place between their sons. The audience will remain with them in the apartment for the next hour and a half: one act with no asides, no scene changes, no breaks, but lots of liquor and chaos. Witness a conversation that shatters the veneer of pleasantries we all conform to and, with plenty of humor, exposes the ugliness we so often keep tucked away.

This is Silent House Theatre Company’s latest production, God of Carnage, the Tony Award-winning play by Yasmina Reza. It premiered at McLennan Community College’s Music & Theatre Arts building last week and concludes its two-week run this weekend with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 pm and a Sunday matinee at 2:30 pm. So don’t miss your chance to witness a demolition derby of emotion and social commentary.   

It’s Not What You Said, It’s How You Said It

This biting commentary, combined with its uproariously funny dialogue, helped God of Carnage win the Tony Award for Best Play in 2009, the year it debuted on Broadway. Silent House pays its respects to the sardonic spirit of the original and knows its cast will use their acumen to give the Waco audience an immersive and exhilarating experience. 

Alongside director Colin Selman, the cast made a concerted effort during rehearsals to make the performance their own. While prior interpretations of the play sought to emulate the weary and jaded tone of the original, Silent House believes their relative youth and energy will add a layer of enjoyment for the audience. 

Caleb Clark, who stars as Alan and is a graduate of Baylor’s Theater Department, points out: “Jeff Daniels did my original role on Broadway. I am a completely different type of actor, so I just tried to go straight from the script. We’re probably the youngest cast to have done this play, so we have a lot more energy at our disposal because they’re supposed to be mid-30s.”

nick-marquez
Nick Marquez

Nick Marquez, who stars as Michael, is a graduate from MCC’s Theater Department and starred in the Silent House production of Reckless last Christmas, adds: “Our director is big about just getting out of your head and not acting. It’s especially important for this [play] because it is so short, it’s such a small cast, and it’s so real that if you try to perform this, it’s going to come off super corny, and you’re going to see straight through the illusion of it, and you’re going to go, ‘Oh, I get what this play is trying to do.’”

When asked what audiences can expect, Marquez answers, “Expect to have fun… it’s so real and it’s so household and so suburban.”

Ask Yourself, Where Did That Couch Come From?

Often the audience is unaware of the volume of work that goes into producing a live performance. This is, of course, by design as a way to maintain the illusion. Yet with any artistry, there is a level of appreciation that comes from understanding not only what something is, but how it came to be. 

Alex-Blanton
Alex Blanton

For Alex Blanton, who stars as Annette, creating that illusion is what makes theater special. At its core, it all comes down to collaboration.

“It’s everyone’s voice and everyone’s hands on the project that you’re creating. And that’s so important about live theater and so beautiful,” explains Blanton, “because everyone created something and now people are watching it. You all don’t have to think about who’s running lights right now, or who’s doing this, right? You’re just enjoying it.” 

Silent House is using the McLennan Community College’s black box theatre to full effect and spent weeks fine-tuning the tech and procuring furniture—especially those two all-important couches—for the set to allow audience members to fully immerse themselves in the spectacle that unfolds in front of them. As Blanton puts it, “You feel like you just walked into someone’s living room and you’re not supposed to be here. You’re not supposed to be watching this fight go down. You’re like, ‘Oh, crap, why am I here?’”  

Ready For Takeoff

Silent House wants audiences to strap in and come along for the ride and, as always, is committed to providing a unique and immersive experience for every audience member. That means the God of Carnage performances are also accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing, thanks to sign-language interpreters.

After last month’s epic production of The Crucible, God of Carnage is the perfect modern classic for Silent House to add to its ever-expanding repertoire. The group recently celebrated the anniversary of its first production, A Streetcar Named Desire, and has three more shows planned for the 2022 season: John-Michael Tebelak’s seminal musical Godspell (August 17–21), Hedda Gabler (October 14–16 and 21–23), and It’s a Wonderful Life (December 9–11).


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God of Carnage concludes its two-weekend run at the McLennan Community College Music & Theatre Arts building with performances on July 15–17: Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2:30 pm. Tickets are available online.

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