When I watched the trailer for The North Plan I wasn’t exactly sure it was going to be my type of play. I’m not even sure what “my type” of play is, but I felt this wasn’t it. However, instead of being a judgemental jerk, I decided to go and guess what? The North Plan was my type of play!
Written by Jason Wells, The North Plan takes us to the fictitious city of Lodus, Missouri during a national emergency. Martial Law has been declared and the fate of society rests in Carlton Berg’s (Daniel Martin) ability to keep a flash drive, containing the names of millions of people who are considered “national security threats,” out of the hands of the wrong people. Unfortunately for Carlton, he’s just been arrested in small-town Missouri and is being held until someone from the Department of Homeland Security can come and get him. Carlton’s predicament is made slightly more terrible when he meets his neighbouring cellmate, Tanya Shepke (Genevieve Fleming).
Tanya is loud, obnoxious, confrontational, and has zero patience for anyone or anything. She has been arrested for drunk driving, except, no one actually caught her driving under the influence – she volunteered this information to the police once she sobered up, proclaiming it was the right thing to do. Carlton assumes she’s not the brightest person but, due to the urgency of the current situation, he tries to convince her to retrieve the hidden flash drive and take it to someone waiting in Texas. Of course, Tanya makes this process exceedingly difficult and initially refuses Carlton’s request, unless she can be guaranteed a monetary reward. Just before members of Homeland Security show up to question Carlton, Tanya is released from jail but it is uncertain if she will actually fulfill Carlton’s request.
Directed by Chelsea Haberlin, The North Plan manages to make a strong political statement without bullying the audience into taking a particular position. Wells manages to infuse hilarity, and often absurdity, into his stage play which helps ease the weight of the topic’s complexities. In addition, although the characters personality may be somewhat over-the-top, they are well developed and their actions are believable. For instance, the administrative officer, Shonda (Catherine Lough Haggquist) appears to be strong, fair, and diligent while also being empathetic. When one of the Homeland Security officer’s begins giving her demands and tells her to go home, Shonda refuses until her police Chief returns and explicitly tells her to do so. Shonda is not sure Carlton will be safe with the officers if she leaves and wants to ensure someone will be there, even if it cannot be her. Although she is a bit fearful of what could happen if she “disobeys” the orders of Homeland officers, her response of refusing to leave is realistic.
The North Plan is well written, acted and directed. I honestly haven’t had this much fun at show in a long time.
For ticket information: http://www.theatrewire.com/. The show is playing now until November 29th.