Alternative Facts

A scene from Pistarckle Theater’s season opener, “Alternative Facts,” written by and starring St. Thomas playwright Matthew Hamilton-Kraft, far left.

By Frank Bartolucci

Resident Director/ Pistarckle Theater

“Alternative Facts” by Matthew Hamilton-Kraft may be one of the most important plays Pistarckle has ever produced.

After suffering through hurricanes Irma and Maria, the theater sustained enough damage to make the 2017/18 season a complete loss. We had to postpone Evita and weren’t sure how to save the season. “Alternative Facts” has allowed us to do that.

We couldn’t get set materials from MSI (a longtime sponsor and supporter of the theater), because they were inundated with supplying material for relief repair, so we had to cobble a set together from old flats and furnishings we had. We didn’t know if we would have power, but Eric Tillett stepped in and ran the Tillett Gardens generator so we could rehearse and build the set, and run the Children’s Hurricane Relief Project during the day.

We didn’t know if we could get the word out about auditions with communication so sketchy on the island, but Priscilla Lynn, our marketing director, was somehow able to. We didn’t know if we could rehearse with the curfew hours, but were able to with the commitment of the cast.

So the show will go on, and “Alternative Facts” is our first step in keeping the theater a viable and creative force on St. Thomas. It’s a contemporary dark comedy that takes place right before the 2016 election and pulls its plot right from the headlines we see every day. Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent, and besides being a very funny show, it also offers insight into what happened in the 2016 election and maybe why it happened.

As I said, it’s the first step in keeping the doors open. Next up is our “Children’s Christmas Pageant,” and if the theater gods smile on us, we’ll start the second half of our season with “The Color Purple,” as scheduled.

The show must go on and we’re working to make sure it will.

Performances are on Saturday and Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and Sunday and Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. All tickets are $20 per person, open seating/first-come, first served.

For tickets, call or text 203-530-0103, email marketing@pistarckletheater.com, and/or walk-ins accepted, space available.