On stage: Family fortunes undone by winning 'The Lottery'

Jul 20, 2012

 
 

BATAVIA — Winning a jackpot for millions of dollars may be everyone’s dream.

But for one family, it turned out to be a sad nightmare, Tara Pocock says.

“It seems like a wonderful gift,” the playwright and dancer said. “But it destroys the family.”

That scenario unfolds in “The Lottery,” an original show crafted by Pocock of Batavia. It features a story told through dance and debuts at 7 p.m. Aug. 3 and 4 with a matinee at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 5 at Harvester 56 Theater on Harvester Avenue.

“There is some redemption at the end but a tragedy does happen,” Pocock said.

A dancer and dance teacher who has cultivated a nice selection of performers, Pocock said that the play features talented locals from Genesee, Wyoming and Monroe counties.

As with Pocock’s other self-scripted pieces, she took a chapter of real life for the drama. While watching TV earlier this year, an announcement for that day’s lottery came on. It prompted her to look up a documentary on lottery winners and about how life isn’t always more favorable for them in the end.

Pocock plays the mother. Amanda Crowley of Attica is the daughter and Leland Fuller the husband. Fuller is a student majoring in photography at Brockport State College. Pocock tapped him to fill in for someone who was cast but not able to commit to the show. He has come through with innate abilities, Pocock said.

“He is naturally fluent as a dancer,” she said.

The Byron 20-year-old plays a character who gets caught up in the family’s winnings of $640 million. He’s “the cheater,” Fuller said. Crowley’s character on the other hand is one of quiet desperation. She plays an awkward little kid “always looking in” on others who snub her friendship.

“The more I get pushed the more I try,” she said. “It’s somewhat of a sad ending.”

But there is also a “sigh of relief,” to end the mounting tension, Pocock said.

Pocock’s mother character is at first angry that her husband bought a lottery ticket. The poor family has not experienced much good luck up to that point, with her unemployed and “a dreamer” and him getting fired.

“You see the problems develop and everything kind of goes downhill,” she said. “The family learns that it is stronger than any amount of money, and money can’t always bring you happiness.”

Fuller said that spectators who may worry about bills and expenses can relate to this family’s troubles. But in the end everyone learns that “you’ve just got to live for today.”

It’s about 90 minutes of jazz, lyrical, hip hop and contemporary dancing to tunes ranging from the Beatles and Goo Goo Dolls to Bruno Mars.

Dancers also include Mike Caruso, Rebecca Caryk, Miranda Martin, Tanya Murphy, Sarah Battaglia, Jill Jackson, Erin Dunham and Kurtis Fannon.

Tickets are $6 each and are available online at www.showtix4u.com or at the door. All proceeds will go to Batavia Players, a nonprofit group which is based at Harvester 56 Theater and offers summer youth theater, educational programs and community productions.

It is a “black box” type set-up, which means that the audience surrounds a small stage and gets to view the performance up close and personal. There will be some audience interaction, Pocock said.