Rust Belt's "The Illusion" gives older play new life

Staff report


“The Illusion,” a new play written by Robert Dennick Joki of Youngstown, will premiere Friday and run for two weekends.

A production of Rust Belt Theater Company, of which Joki is director, “The Illusion” will be staged at Calvin Center, 755 Mahoning Ave.

Based on “L’Illusion Comique,” by Pierre Corneille, the play tells the story of an aging mother, Elsa Pridamont, as she journeys to the temple of an infamous sorceress, Alcandria, in hopes of finding information on the whereabouts of her missing son, Clindor. The result is a tale of love, murder, betrayal and irony, all wrapped up in two acts.

“When I began the project, I intended it to be a pretty straightforward translation from the original French,” said Joki. “But after I had auditions, I decided to take some liberties and make it more of a modern adaptation. It’s part comedy, part tragedy, part love story, part adventure. The show jumps genres and time periods as it runs its course. It’s a real roller coaster.”

The cast includes Brittiani Ketcham, Jo Ellen Jacob, Kim Voeks, Kage Coven, Lynn Sabeh, Dave Perkins, Bernadette Lim, David Cirelli and Kelsie Moon. Costumes were created by Celena Coven, Beth Farrow and Joki. Kim Nevel is stage manager.

A reception will follow the opening-night performance.

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