by Stephen Dafoe
Playwright David Haas is no stranger to the Morinville stage, having performed with the Caviar Players from 2011 to 2013. One of his plays – A Health Unto Her Majesty – was staged by the troupe in 2012 during the St. Jean Baptiste Festival. Haas is now bringing another of his plays to the Edmonton Fringe Festival from Aug. 18 to 26.
Crazy Train is a 90-minute play about child abuse, PTSD denial and investigative tunnel vision.
Haas says the burgeoning extent of PTSD is well known as is the fact it affects many people in occupations outside the military. What Haas says gets discussed less is the frequency with which some sufferers direct physical and other abuse on others.
Crazy Train begins after a rookie police officer encounters a nearly four-year-old boy wandering lost with fading bruises over much of his body from a severe beating.
Police believe both parents to be plausible suspects in the subsequent investigation: an infantry sergeant-major father with three combat tours in Afghanistan behind him, and a nurse mother burned out by long years at a major hospital emergency ward.
Haas said the current production is a reworking of a play he took to the St. Albert Festival one-act plays competition in 2009. Haas won with a shorter version of the production eight years ago.
Crazy Train is Haas third trip to the Fringe and his ninth produced play. In 2015 he brought a science fiction piece called Pacific Time to the Fringe and returned last year with Wolfman Crossing.
Morinville Caviar Players: Amber Jones, who will direct the play and Paige Brenneis, who will serve as Stage Manager join Haas.
Cast for the play include Patrick Michaud as Rupert Conrad, a child protection worker; Yanit Terefe as Sherri Williams, the child’s mother; Glenn Balombin as Trafford Williams, the child’s father; and Christine Gold as Sergeant Kostiuk, a police officer and interrogator;
Haas’ play performs at Venue 9 – The Telus Building. Show times are Friday, Aug. 18 at 1:45 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 20 at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 20 at noon, Thursday, Aug. 24 at 5:45 p.m., Friday, Aug. 25 at 4:45 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 26 at 10 p.m.