Even so, director Robert Bubon hopes that the Community College of Aurora’s production during five performances — March 15-17 and 23-24 — will be a departure from many previous approaches.
“I’m taking my own stab at it and trying to make these guys find the humor in this stuff, more than you might have seen in other productions,” Bubon said. “It’s not going to be the death march that this piece sometimes tends to be. I think it will be really fun and exciting to watch.The plot’s backstory – told in 52 monologues varying in length between 30 seconds and three minutes — revolves around deceased characters from Spoon River who get one last chance in life to discuss their private lives, personal beliefs, insights, discoveries, grudges and glaring injustices that they’ve encountered themselves or with their neighbors.
Bubon explained that “it’s a trap of this play to make it morbid and morose, because that’s the way it’s been done in the past in other dramatizations: ‘Poor me. I died.’ But it’s about these people trying to do something very active to save the ret of Spoon River or themselves.”
The individual tales come from the book by Edgar Lee Masters and are adapted for the stage. Those stories include the town drunkard who’s buried in the grave next to the richest man in town; the circuit judge who admits he put away a plaintiff for murder but sees himself as the more guilty party; and the campaign aide who grew to hate the mayoral candidate he once supported.
“Some set the record straight,” Bubon said. “Some talk about what life is really about.”
The production will be the 76th show that Bubon has either portrayed a character or directed in his 30-year career that spans CCA, Metro State and Red Rocks Community College as well as The California Actors Theatre in Longmont, a playhouse he owns.
CCA’s production will be held at the Larry D. Carter Theatre, 16000 E. CentreTech Parkway in Aurora. Tickets are available at the box office and at the door. General admission is $10; student admission $5.
For more information, call 303-361-7379.