Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 17:37

That Championship Season

Written by Missy Heinemann
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

  • Director: Alan Knoll
  • Dates: August 22, 2010
That Championship Season
dramaticlicenseproductions.com

In 1972, actor/playwright Jason Miller opened his off-Broadway production of That Championship Season. Heralded as one of the year's best, Miller's play went on to receive a Tony Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1973. What made That Champion Season so widely celebrated was the raw humor and emotion expressed by the play's middle-aged male characters, all lacking a sense of self and direction. Former teammates, the men gather at their former coaches home to celebrate the 20thanniversary of their victory as state basketball champions. As the evening progresses, the occasion becomes less about reliving their victorious past and more about fearing their uncertain future.

Under the direction of Alan Knoll, Dramatic License Productions has staged That Championship Season with an impressive group of actors. As Coach, Kevin Beyer takes command of the stage like no other, portraying a man whose world has revolved around the successes and challenges of his former players. At times, Coach comes across more like an erratic preacher, proselytizing his agenda and manipulating his former players as though they were boys and not men. While Beyer's performance was strong, the lack of vulnerability in his character left room for depth and dimension during some of the play's quieter, more dramatic moments. Perhaps this has more to do with the writing of the character rather than Beyer's fully-charged delivery. 

Adding to the play's talented roster is actor Travis Estes, playing George, the town mayor. Estes successfully taps into the humor, sadness, and irony of his character, giving a performance that is authentic and engaging. As James, actor B. Weller does a remarkable job of portraying a man whose subservient disposition serves as a catalyst to some of the more tense moments of the play. Providing comic relief to such moments is James' younger alcoholic brother, Tom, played by actor Charlie Barron. Although Tom lives in a constant state of inebriation, his ability to remain in touch with reality more so than his sober team mates leads to the play's crescendo. Barron's ability to carry the hefty plot reveal while remaining committed to the humor and sloppiness of his character served as a testament to his craft as an actor. 

The fourth member of the winning line-up is Phil, a corrupt strip-mining millionaire whose success is largely due to his relationship with the mayor George. As George faces reelection, Phil must decide which candidate to financially support so he may continue to line his slimy pockets. Playing Phil, actor Cameron Ulrich owns his character, delivering a performance that is both consistent and believable. 

Although the acting in this production of That Championship Season was strong, the play itself was difficult to relate and plug in to. While playwright Miller builds a foundation on which these characters can seek and find the deeper meaning in their lives, little in the way of discovery or salvation is achieved; ultimately leaving a sense of emptiness and a longing for something more resolute and meaningful. At the crossroad of their lives, Miller chooses to lead his characters down what seems to be a dead end. 

You can catch remaining performances of Dramatic License Productions' That Championship Season at the ARTropolis arts district in Chesterfield Mall through August 22nd. For tickets and more information you may call 636.220.7012.

Additional Info

  • Director: Alan Knoll
  • Dates: August 22, 2010

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Search Parties

Tue September 9

KDHX Recommends

September
Saturday
20

The Thin Dimes at Harvest Sessions 2014

The Thin Dimes at Harvest Sessions 2014 Harvest Sessions welcomes the old-time country blues of the Thin Dimes for this weekend's concert in the park. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market, and runs May through...


September
Saturday
20

Tower of Song: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen and 80th Birthday Party

Tower of Song: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen and 80th Birthday Party Leonard Cohen started out as a poet, and poetry -- ecstatic, spiritual, erotic and political -- suffuses all of his work. When he launched a career as a songwriter and singer in the '60s, only Bob Dylan could match his visionary...


September
Saturday
20

Lee Fields and The Expressions

KDHX welcomes Lee Fields and The Expressions to 2720 Cherokee on Saturday, September 20 at 8pm.   Tickets on sale now at www.ticketweb.com.


Online Users

3 users and 12101 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook