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Merlin & Vivien by John Fiero and Forrest M. Byrd

“Merlin & Vivien,” a full-length one-act play, is scheduled for six performances at Cité des Arts, 109 Vine Street, in downtown Lafayette, starting on April 29. The play is a collaborative merging of a series of poems written by Forrest M. Byrd and their encapsulating dialogue written by John W. Fiero. Both writers are former colleagues of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s English Department and longtime friends. They also were mainstays in the Eavesdrop Theatre. The play is not a typical collaboration. Its nucleus is Byrd’s sequence of poems set within Fiero’s dialog. It depicts an illicit relationship between lovers, who, like their counterparts in Arthurian myth, seem ill-fated from the start. The voice of the poems is Merlin’s, and his magic is in his vivid, vibrant words. He is a drifter, endlessly searching for something neither he nor Vivien are sure of. She is an aging socialite, apparently comfortable in her social world. The Reader is a detached narrator, reading the poems and sometimes providing background. Vivien is the focal character. She is alone in a motel room, and Merlin appears as her memory of himas a young man. She struggles exorcise his “ghost” in order to justify the prudent but passionless choices she has made. The play is being directed by Eavesdrop veteran Joe Riehl. The cast features Stephanie Broussard as Vivien, Gus Fontenot as the younger Merlin of Vivien’s memory, and Daniel Ladmirault, the Reader, who can be seen as an older Merlin. Performance dates for the play are April 29 and 30 at 7:30 pm and May 1 at 2:00 pm; May 6, and 7 at 7:30 pm and May 8 at 2 pm. Admission is $15 and $12 for students. Tickets may be purchased at citedesarts.org, or reservations may be made by phone at (337) 291-1122.
Date & Time
  • Weekly on Sunday, Friday, and Saturday
  • 04/29/2016 through 05/08/2016
  • 7:30PM - 8:30PM
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