Family Quarrels in "Diamonds"
On March 28, the Loeb Ex will be transformed into the interior of a family farm. “Acres of Diamonds,” written and directed by Andy J. Boyd ’14, takes place over the course of two days and chronicles the explosions and quiet struggles between family members.
“It’s fourth of July, nighttime,” says Boyd, describing the dramatic climax of his play. “There will be fireworks exploding off in the distance, throwing colors across the set in these big dramatic washes.”
The action on stage will be equally volatile. The patriarch, James (Joshua G. Wilson ’13), reveals he wants to sell the family farm, and his wife (Mallory J. Weiss ’15), and daughter (Amy Q. Friedman ’14, a Crimson editor) oppose his decision. According to the actors, the play is about trying to save the family as much as it is about trying to save the farm. “It gives a small picture of something everyone is very connected to: the American experience, all the good and the bad,” says Aaron I. Henricks ’16, who plays the brother-in-law trying to buy the farm.“Mostly the bad, in this play.”
Indeed, tensions are very high as the actors rehearse one of the scenes—at one point, all nine characters position themselves around James, all physically engaged and poised to argue. The scene is at once theatrical and realistic, an uneasy balance that Boyd hopes will come to life in this play, which is the seventh he has written and the third he has directed at Harvard.
Matthew B. Barrieau ’16, the stage manager, says that the set will also reflect Boyd’s nuanced realism in the script and the acting. He describes a simple family room and dining room, eerily overshadowed by a back wall made of scrap wood and debris, which is meant to make the house look like it is exploding.
“I’m interested in how we get a sense of theatrical imagination into naturalism,” Boyd says.
—Staff writer Virginia R. Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.