Ever wonder if Adam and Eve had the same quibbles as a modern-day couple? Did Adam ever get annoyed at Eve’s constant banter—or when she bit the forbidden fruit? Did Eve seek friendship from the Serpent because Adam avoided her?
These questions arise in “The Diaries of Adam and Eve,” a short story by Mark Twain which tells the Biblical tale through the “diaries” of the oldest couple known to man. Theatre West has adapted the story for the stage with an endearing and humorous play about the evolution of man.
“The facets of couple-hood between Adam and Eve are so rich and complex, like modern relationships,” says Allison Winschief, who plays Eve. “Where one member falters, the other succeeds and they compliment one another incredibly well. Any functioning couple can find some facet of their relationship that mimics Adam and Eve.”
New to the Theatre West stage is 31-year-old Christopher Peterson. While Petersen is already nervous about his first role—let alone lead role—since high school, there’s even more anxiety about the “nakedness” of the play.
“While you might think Adam and Eve should be running around naked for the majority of the show, this script adaptation doesn’t call for it,” Peterson says. “If it did, I think we both would have probably said yes. I mean, it’s kind of naked on stage anyway in a sense.”
“I think Chris and I would have still done the show either way,” Winschief adds. “The script is so rich and filled with so much emotion that it would have been difficult to turn down such an incredible opportunity—even if it did call for ‘au natural.’”
However, the play is scant of actors and stage. It is just Peterson and Winschief with a limited audience due to the intimate size of the theatre.
“The fact that Theatre West is a smaller venue is actually one of the reasons I was drawn to it,” Peterson says. “They really dig in to the script, the acting and the story.”
As a regular on the Theatre West stage, Winschief prefers the small stage to a bigger production.
“As an actor, being closer to the audience is ideal because I can feel their energy and that helps feed my performance,” Winschief says. “If the audience is enjoying themselves, then I get the privilege of feeling that positivity and using it to help fuel my performance, likewise with negativity.”
“The Diaries of Adam and Eve” is a great date night for sweethearts, just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend.
“The path of discovery they take in both themselves and each other is what a love story is all about in my opinion,” Peterson says. “Mark Twain fills these characters with such hilarious and lovable stereotypes. These humorous stereotypes will allow people to smile and wink at our shared humanity and the results are very tender.”
As Winschief prepares to poke fun at her gender as the slightly dim-witted Eve character, she hopes both male and female audience members will laugh along with her. She believes that Twain created in Eve a conglomeration of humor, sensitivity, childlike innocence and womanly wisdom.
“All of the women in the audience will identify with her emotional side, while all the men will nod and titter at her ‘dumb-blonde’ side,” says Winschief. “Eve is the perfect blend of all things woman. As Eve, I hope to evoke a range of emotions from confusion to hilarity to love. It’s a tall order, but I’m going to give it my best shot.”
THE DIARIES OF ADAM AND EVE
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10 and Saturday, Feb. 11, 2:00 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12
WHERE: Theatre West, 9732 Sidney Rd.
DETAILS: 912-4087 or sanctuarytheatrewest.com