Enemies The PlayA Police Drama

The East Carolinian — February 19, 2008

ECU playwright premiers psychological thriller
Enemies envelops social themes
Elise Phillips, Assistant Pulse Editor

“Only cops understand cops.”

“Sometimes you gotta do things that aren’t right to make things right.”

Luke Bombay, one of the grizzly characters in Joseph Horst’s thrilling play Enemies, reminds the audience that a police officer’s job is never done with these words.

Horst, a former ECU student, started working on Enemies in 2003 and turned in the play as his master’s thesis in a creative writing class.

Horst drew his inspiration for the play from a story by Jorge Luis Borges called “The Secret Garden.”

“In that story, the main character crafts a play in his mind dealing with time and identity. That struck a chord with me and I ended up working in police officers and their lives as the main characters in my play,” said Horst.

With the premiere of Enemies on Feb. 16 in Mendenhall, Horst’s masterpiece comes to life with the present day police (almost Law and Order-like) drama that depicts the day-to-day interactions of characters like police officer Luke Bombay and his partner Charles “Chuck” Maddox.

Horst went about picking actors for his masterpiece by holding auditions for interested actors.

“We have a very professional blend of ECU students, ECU professors and local actors in the Greenville community who have come together tremendously to bring this play to life,” he said.

Daniela Hart, freshman musical theatre major, played Luke Bombay’s lover in Enemies. She impressed by the play when auditions began.

“My decision to act in this play wasn’t my own. During the audition process, I was impressed with the director’s direction and the producer’s enthusiasm so I could only hope that they’d decide on me,” she said.

The actors spent every weeknight in makeshift practice areas to prepare for the production.

“This was doable thanks to the small and intimate cast except when people walked by and were shocked by what they saw through the windows,” Hart said.

Enemies was sold out on its opening night.

“The play is a gritty psychological thriller that incorporates both the realism of police work and surrealism in theater to provide an evening of entertainment that will leave the audience wanting to come back another night to catch all of the play’s twists and turns,” Horst said.

The play’s use of the social themes drugs, murder, abuse, sex and alcohol make Enemies a far cry from your average mild-mannered stage act.

The play’s final night will take place in Mendenhall 244 tonight at 8 p.m. Cost for the show is $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

“I would encourage everyone to come support the arts in Greenville and enjoy a night of adult theater that will leave them breathless and excited. Hopefully, they will tell their friends that Enemies cannot be missed and they should rush to get tickets before it closes,” Horst said.

Tickets can be purchased at the Central Ticket Office in Mendenhall.

This writer can be contacted at features@theeastcarolinian.com.

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