At a relatively young age, David Scala has proven that he can write. The NYU Tisch School of the Arts grad now has 4 films under his belt, about 50 film festivals, and various awards to his name. He is an award winning filmmaker, director, screenwriter, and author/director of his latest work, "Among The Furies," which was accepted and featured at this Summer's New York Theater Festival competition, Summerfest 2017.
According to Scala, after sharing the script with close friends and associates, they quickly realized that "Among The Furies," a drama about two couples confronting each other and their tightly held secrets the day after a wild party at an affluent Southern Mansion in South Carolina, was perfect for the stage. And they were right. So he took the story and did just that, in the process grabbing the helm as playwright, co-producer (with Katherine Paige), and director. For those not familiar with this festival, it attracts many young and first-time playwrights/directors, and gives them a fairly professional forum to start molding their talents. Which is exactly what Scala needed.
Playing to sold out audiences, and earning an extra (4th) performance at the festival, the story has the feel of a Tennessee Williams play, but with punch and intensity of Yasmin's Rena's "God of Carnage."
The young cast (actually, a bit too young in my opinion) were excellent and well cast for this festival version. Each actor took to the role with full conviction, and delivered a good performance, lending as much realism as they could to a script that is fascinating, but still needs some tweaking. The dialogue, the words, the sentences put on paper by Mr. Scala were clever, interesting, and fun, and he certainly has a way with words and knows how to create memorable characters. The actors were rolling in it!
In his own words, "Among The Furies," "takes place during the night of a Southern house party, where two couples from vastly different upbringings meet to discuss a prospective job opportunity."
The party appears to have gotten out of hand and the next morning, the two couples discover each other, somehow deciding to pick up the conversation that never went anywhere the night before. Soon, "curt formalities evolve into unexpected revelations as each couple attempts to keep their secrets in the past, as they begin realizing they may have more dangerously in common than they originally thought." Suffice it to say, Mr. Scala takes the story in various directions, all interesting, but at times not clear. There are a couple of moments where I wondered why characters would remain in that tense situation, and this is where I feel that it could still use some rewrites.
But I have to give credit to Mr. Scala: his subject matter is interesting and different and I hope he continues to write real plays. In a Summer when many of the plays I watched were bogged down with filmic-styled "plays" that employ too many scene changes, it's refreshing (and somewhat ironic) that it took a filmmaker to finally deliver a memorable play that clearly belongs on the stage. Kudos for that!
The cast: JOSEPH R. THOMAS (HENRY), CLAIRE GANSHERT (VERA), SCOTT. T. FREEMAN (AARON), and TONI BENEDICT (PENNY). For more information: http://davidscala.com/