“Tape” opens at Vineyard Playhouse


On Saturday, June 4, Stephen Belber’s “Tape” will begin its two-week run at The Vineyard Playhouse.

Written in 1999, “Tape” has traveled to theatres throughout the United States, as well as Dublin and London. It tells the story of a reunion among three former high school friends in Lansing, Michigan, inside the motel room of drug dealer/volunteer firefighter Vince. Vince, aspiring filmmaker Jon, and assistant district attorney and ex-girlfriend Amy get together to discuss the events of graduation night 10 years ago, the truth of which is unknown by all three parties.

This particular production is directed by Claudia Weill and will star Michael Urie as Vince, Ryan Spahn as Jon, and Victoria Campbell as Amy.

“I have never been in such a small cast,” said Ms. Campbell, who has worked with the Playhouse for many years and has also appeared in productions in New York and Los Angeles. “It’s incredibly intimate, since we are only three. And the set feels just like a Motel 6 room.”

Ms. Weill, who is a director of film, television, and theatre, and Mr. Spahn who has won multiple awards for his appearances in theatrical and TV productions, have worked with the Playhouse in the past and had hoped to return again this summer.

“Since the 2008 production of ‘End Days,’ we have discussed doing another show,” said Mr. Spahn. “‘Tape’ finally became the next show for us to work on together.”

“Tape” is performed in real time — the entire play covers one hour in the characters’ lives, and is only about one hour long. Yet despite its brevity, the story requires a large amount of concentration.

“The audience really has to focus to know which of the character’s truth is the real truth — if anyone’s is,” said Mr. Urie, who has also performed in productions such as an off-Broadway version of “Angels in America” and “The Tempermentalists.”

Ms. Weill and the three actors have had just two weeks of rehearsals before the play previews at 8 pm on June 2 and 3.

“The lines are challenging — they require quick and bullet-like delivery,” Ms. Campbell said. “The play itself is complicated because it’s full of double-meaning through the things we don’t say to each other and the painful past that we each see and deal with differently. I find new meaning every time we do a run-through.”

“It’s a smart, funny, and profound story about who we were in high school and the lasting effect we have on one another,” said Ms. Weill. “It’s a psychological thriller that’s perfect for high schoolers on up.”

Opening Night of “Tape,” 8 pm, June 4, Vineyard Playhouse, Vineyard Haven. $35; $30 for seniors and juniors. Advanced purchases can be made by calling the box office at 508-696-6300 ext. 21, through email at boxoffice@vineyardplayhouse.org, or online at vineyardplayhouse.org. The play contains strong language and adult themes. For more performance dates, see the Events page in Calendar.