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BuzzSession: Silhouette Challenges Audiences with ‘Jailbait’


by Brandon Palmer

Silhouette Theatre Company’s motto is “Be challenged. Be changed.” In this spirit, Silhouette is producing the regional premiere of Deirdre O’Connor’s Jailbait, the company’s third show since its founding by Paul and Johanna Jaquith in 2011. This show promises to both challenge and change all audience members who see it.

Johanna Jaquith, co-founder of the company and director of Jailbait, says, “We really focus on stories that are going to leave you talking afterwards. We want to sink our teeth into issues that are current and scripts that are exciting and characters that are really going to stick with our audience members.” Jaquith stumbled upon O’Connor’s script after this slot in Silhouette’s season had already been planned, but said, “We were really taken with the forced maturity that is happening to today’s youth, and especially girls; the reality that the media is so pervasive through the internet.”

Cortney Patston as Emmy and Michelle Hurtubise as Claire star in the regional premiere of Jailbait

This lead Silhouette to replace their scheduled show with this piece about two young high school girls who find their way into an adult club and meet a couple of 30-something men out for a night of fun. Jaquith tells us, “It’s very pertinent to today’s climate and it’s stuff people should be talking about.” This is not, however, just a show about ‘jailbait’ and a series of bad choices as one might expect from the surface. “There’s a lot of really great components that call into perspective what it means to be a human being,” explains Jaquith, “and there’s a lot of humor in it too.”

The cast of four that make up this show include Cortney Patston as Emmy, Michelle Hurtubise as Claire, Ryan Wuestewald as Robert, and Brian Brooks as Mark. Brooks tells us that – as in all great scripts – “All four characters have an expectation, or are one way, at the start of the show but they are all very different by the end of the story.”

As audiences sit and watch this performance, they certainly will be challenged, and Jaquith and her cast all hope that in some way they will be changed as well. In a day and an age where kids are having a harder and harder time finding who they are and where they belong in this world, especially through high school, Hurtubise suggests, “We all very quickly make an assumption or judge who someone is based on the way they dress of the way they talk, the music they listen to; but there are consequences to those assumptions.” She tells us the play also asks us to consider, “What brings us together? Why do we connect with someone? Why are we interacting with people the way we are?” Wuestewald adds, “It’s an interesting inversion of power and vulnerability. It’s going to force people to step back and take a look at things from the other side of the fence. I hope it’s evident that these characters are leading false realities in a way, and hopefully we can transform someone.”

Silhouette Theatre Company’s regional premiere production of Deirdre O’Connor’s Jailbait, opens July 7 and running through August 5 at the John Hand Theater in Lowry. Purchase tickets online at http://www.silhouettetheatrecompany.org. Call 303.999.9143 for more information.

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