WORDS BY Erica Skarohlid
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Dark and Stormy Productions, led by Artistic Director Sara Marsh, who launched Dark & Stormy in 2012 out of a desire to have more agency about the projects she did and the people with whom she worked.
“I found myself playing the same character all the time and wanting to do edgier productions,” she says of her pre-Dark & Stormy days. “The more I reached out to people to join me on this journey, I realized there were a lot of artists also looking to step outside their normal wheelhouse and find ways to present great plays with challenging roles.”
She started raising funds and reaching out to a network of people willing to support her as designers, fellow actors, and donors until she was able to present the initial project. A decade later, God of Carnage will be Dark & Stormy’s 17th production.
“I didn’t know what to expect when I first started this adventure, but 10 years later, I still love it and it brings me so much joy. It has been really tough at times, but the audience reactions and artists’ experiences keep driving me,” she says. “It’s such a gift and I wouldn’t trade it.”
God of Carnage is a fairly familiar title, and in a polarizing world, timely. After a fight at school between their children, two sets of parents come together to talk about what they should do. Though they feel equipped to come to the table and have a discussion, the audience is party to how quickly that unravels, despite the characters’ best intentions.
“I look forward to seeing the audience’s reactions. I am guessing they will come in and pick sides or people, but will be surprised when they see unexpected sides of these characters appear,” she says.
The conversation becomes less about the children, and more about navigating their opposing viewpoints. The quick 75-minute comedy is packed full of shifting alliances, accountability (or lack thereof), and nuanced humor. “It’s an outrageous comedy that moves so quickly you may have to see it twice to catch all the subtle humor in the script,” she says.
“Theater is about connecting to an audience and creating an experience that can’t be replicated—every night it’s a different show,” she says. “A show is truly not complete without an audience.”