By E.M. Forster

adapted for the stage by
Dale Gutzman
Off The Wall Theatre

September - October 2016

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Off The Wall Theatre proudly presented it's first show of the new season, an original stage adaptation of E.M. Forster's award winning novel A Passage To India. Written in 1924 and taking its title from a Walt Whitman poem, A Passage To India is set in the troublesome days of the British rule in India. It explores with great insight the impossibility of two extremely different cultures to ever truly understand each other, and thus, is a play potent for today's political climate. But the story is so much more than that. It is a story of isolation and the futile attempts of desperate people reaching out for love. It is a story of repressed sexual desire, and it is a story about the value of friendship and loyalty. 

Adela, a middle class woman arrives in India with the prospect of marrying Ronny, an up and coming young British officer. She encounters the extreme prejudice the British feel toward the Indians whom they are sworn to protect and guide. The Indians feel neither the need to be protected nor guided. Dr. Aziz, an optimistic Muslim believes he can become friends with the British, but he is accused of molesting Adela during a visit to the ancient and mystic Maribar Caves. Mr. Moore, a wise elderly lady, feels the unspoken horror of a meaningless existence and the futile attempts we make to create meaning in our lives. Mr. Fielding, a British teacher seems to be the only one to truly understand his Indian neighbors, and he forms a kind of friendship with Aziz. Forster, an outsider and closeted homosexual during his lifetime, often explores isolation and loneliness in his novels. He has a delicate and beautiful way with a story and a unique understanding of human nature. The play of A PASSAGE TO INDIA promises likewise a unique theater going experience. 

Director Dale Gutzman gathered a large and extremely talented cast for this epic production. Marilyn White, David Flores, Jacqueline Roush, Jeremy C. Welter, James Strange, Don and Donna Lobacz, Lawrence J. Lukasavage, Carole Herbstreit-Kalinyen, Barbara Zaferos, Barbara Weber, Tom Welcenbach, Mark Ninneman, James Feeley, Sandy Lewis, Roger Uscila, and Gutzman himself played a Mystic Brahman bringing Forster's book to sparkling life. 

Technical Director David Roper swept us from a private British club to the dangerous hills of Chandrapore. Wills clash, hearts were broken, promises were kept, memories haunted, and life-altering events either did or did not happen.