BY PATRICK MEYERS
VIRGINIA STAGE COMPANY
It seems extreme to truly risk one’s life for adventure. But for some, testing their physical limits to the point of risking death brings a profound sense of feeling present and alive. And for many mountain climbers, K2 stands out as the ultimate test; a kind of mythic challenge.
Patrick Meyers’ play is unique not only for its amazing setting and visceral theatricality, but also because it touches that sense of myth. On a frozen ledge at the edge of human possibility, two friends who are like brothers struggle with mortality and themselves. Their words are overshadowed by their circumstances and choices. And as the day proceeds from dawn to dusk and each makes life and death decisions, their story resonates with a primal sense of being alive.
I’ve read that people of the Karakoram region regard the mountains with deep reverence and awe. This calls to mind John Muir, Thoreau and others who have written passionately about the wilderness, and how it can teach us all how to live. K2 is also about learning how to live.
Yet finally, this play evokes for me me the story of Cain and Abel; and then turns that fateful myth into something else: a tale of brotherhood that brings dignity to mortality and hope for a life redeemed.
I hope you enjoy the ride.
“...(A) true visual adventure. ...we get to know the climbers, Taylor and Howard, in a way that makes us care. ...the play gets to us in more than just a visual way. ...It is to the credit of Edward Morgan’s beautifully paced direction that this “K2,” unlike some other versions, amounts to more than a talkathon. ...here we have a version that supports our marveling at the stage mountain. “K2” sends us out in a state of awe. This is a visual stage adventure that should not be missed.”
– The Virginian-Pilot
“Director Edward Morgan (is) a creative visionary capable of effortlessly optimizing every moment found in a script. ...(A) towering set that at once summoned awe and anxiety ...a looming antagonist that did not dwarf the performances, but was itself a silent character evoking tones of icy peril, majesty, and humility. ...You found yourself holding your breath, sitting on the edge of your seat. You found yourself on the mountain. (T)he best theatrical direction is done with an invisible hand, yielding a performance not defined by conspicuous staging, but the actors having been simply guided down a path toward actualization. “K2” is a fine illustration.”
– The New Journal and Guide
Lights: John Ambrosone
Costumes: Jane Stein
Set: Bill Clarke
Sound: Joe Court
Climbing Coach: Derek Samples