‘The Humans’ opens Feb. 15 at Masquers Theater

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald A cockroach has invaded, much to the dismay of Dierdre (Patty Jardine, left) in the Masquers production of ‘The Humans,’ opening Feb. 15. Emma Russell (right) plays daughter Brigid.

SOAP LAKE — A play about a family confronting some of its secrets and its fears will premiere on the Masquers stage Feb. 15. “The Humans” will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday for three weekends, through March 3.

Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinées are at 2 p.m.

It’s been a family tradition for Erik and Deidre Blake (Darryl Pheasant and Patty Jardine in the Masquers production) to host their daughters for Thanksgiving. But tradition is broken this year — the family is getting together at the Manhattan apartment of daughter Brigid (Emma Russell) and her boyfriend (Justin Rowland).

Everybody is struggling a little bit, including Grandma (Rosalee Chamberlain), who’s having problems with dementia, and Aimee (Penny Sanford) who just broke up with her girlfriend and is having health problems. And what’s wrong with Mom and Dad?

“The Humans,” by Stephen Karam, won the 2016 Tony award for best play. Masquers director Cheri Barbre said she was intrigued by a scene performed during the awards show. She liked the subtle way the author handled the relationships among the family.

“I appreciated how the author brings out the secrets. He does it a little sneaky.” The audience knows something is going on, but not quite what that is, she said. “The problems don’t hit you in the face, but you discover them gradually. I was intrigued.” Once she read the play she thought it would be a good option for Masquers, she said.

The family’s troubles will be familiar to most people, she said. “I think our audience will relate to one character or another.”

Beven Olstead is the assistant director, and Bianca Moura is the stage manager. The set was built by Nick Mahaney, Adam Zaleski and Steve Yakish. Don Long is running the lights and sound.

Tickets are $14 per person and can be purchased at the Masquers website, or by leaving a message at the theater box office, 509-246-2611.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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