Jay Newman's second directorial foray for the Morpheus Theatre deals with inevitability, intellect and emotion. Six Degrees of Separation follows a young black con man, who knows which buttons to push, and the wealthy couple who is affected by his exploits.
With a track record of performances and a feature film resulting from the script, there is a wealth of history to compare and draw from.
"I just try not to be Donald Sutherland so I made sure not to watch the movie," laughs Andrew Krivanek, who plays the well-to-do Flan Kitteredge. "It's a very subtle character."
Anne Mulders, playing his wife Ouisa, takes a similar approach to the treatment of her character.
"The more you think about it, the harder it gets. You just read the script and the character tends to develop."
The Kitteredges are an upper-class couple who lead a life of conservative elegance in a relatively isolated bourgeois world when a man shows up claiming to be a college friend of their son and the son of Sidney Poitier. His bohemian charms win the couple over and they welcome the emissary from the outside world into their home.
The bewitching man soon crosses a few too many lines and finds himself on the Kitteredges' bad side. Their paths cross again, however, because no city is too big to escape the laws of probability held in this play's title.
Newcomer Tito Kamel tackles the chameleonic role of Paul. He is fairly new to this game--having been out of theatre since graduating high school in 1998--but doesn't lack in confidence.
"I read the script over a few times and felt very comfortable from the start," he says, while trying on a smoking jacket. "I just have to deliver a lot of emotion and diversity, ranging from hoodlum to a proper gentleman."
Despite a few minor changes, such as no male nudity, Newman is going to "keep it honest" out of respect for playwright John Guares' intentions.
"When a playwright writes a play, he writes it for a reason."
"Six Degrees of Separation" runs Nov. 29 to Dec. 9 at the Pumphouse Theatres.