By Nicole Kobie
"We’re both staying in… we’re staying and we’re waiting for God… just give me five minutes to try to explain and then I’ll drive you to the party and you’ll still have enough time to stick your tongue down Monica’s throat for the new millennium."
What a dilemma. The biggest party night of all time is the night when all the crazies will be out. Should you go out? Or stay at home?
This is the question being studied in the upcoming Drama Department Nickle and Dime production, Waiting for God, by campus playwright Grant Tilly.
The action begins at 11:20 p.m., Dec., 31, 1999. Two roommates, Jeff (Geoff Woods) and Frank (Jamie Popoff) are supposed to be headed to a New Year’s bash, but Frank refuses to leave the apartment.
"It’s about our guy Jeff, who desperately wants to be at a party for the millennium and opposing him is Frank, who believes the end of the world is coming and wants to save himself and his friend," explains Tilly of his play. "There is also the appearance of a drunk man, who Frank believes might be Jesus."
The drunk man (Allan Boss) staggers into the apartment to use the facilities, and ends up having his feet washed by Frank, who has believed that Jesus would visit him ever since the vision of Christ showed up on the refrigerator. Whether the drunk man is Jesus or not, Tilly refuses to say. It’s a surprise, much like the ending (will the world end?).
The play centres on the conflict between the two roommates; Jeff is struggling to leave so he can party, while Frank is struggling to stay home and be safe.
"My favourite part is the central conflict," said Director Donovan King. "That’s why I think I decided that we had to do this [play]. I’m a grad student, and normally we don’t do the Nickle and Dime [projects] because we’re too busy. I was able to tie it into a class. We had to do any scene out of the 20th century, and I said this one, even though it’s a new play by a playwright here. It’s a bit of extra work, but it’s well worth it."
With the advent of the new millennium, religion has come into the spotlight. Asylums in Jerusalem are filling with people claiming to be God and many people are wondering if Jesus will return.
"There’s parts of the play that deal with God playing a game with humanity, where he won’t ever come. There’s one point where Jeff has a revelation that maybe God’s just playing a trick on everybody," Tilly shares, adding, "maybe God will make an appearance."
Whether God shows up or not, this New Years will be one to remember, even if you want to stay at home like Frank. According to King, Waiting for God’s appeal revolves around the beginning of the year 2000 being on everyone’s minds.
"[The millennium] is a very, very important event; you want to be somewhere interesting. Your kids are going to ask, ‘where were you on the millennium?’" King said. "It’s quite amazing, [but] it’s just another day, in a sense."
King and Tilly have diverging ideas on how to spend this New Years. King will be ringing in 2000 in St. Johns’, Newfoundland, where bars will be open for three days straight. Tilly is undecided, but may just stay home to avoid the crazies.
Waiting for God is playing Dec. 7-10 at noon in the Reeve Secondary Theatre (RT128). Admission is one dollar.