"Reina has this uncanny ability to mash together hard science and the most fantastical myths that you’ve ever heard of," says director Liz Fisher of Reina Hardy, the writer of the new play The Afterparty. "That seems like a really unlikely pairing, and yet through the sort of beautiful alchemy that only she can do, she creates these stories that are beautifully human and... universal in their themes -- these ideas of love, of loss, of moving on, of hope, with a whole lot of magic."
The Afterparty is a non-traditional (and non=linear) romance that is perfectly in keeping with Hardy's love of the fantastic.
"It's about a character, Claire, who has this grief in her life that's kind of prevented her from really living and moving on," says Hardy. "And she kind of places herself into this myth where she essentially hits on a star."
"And it works," adds Shrewd Productions artistic director Shannon Grounds, who plays Claire.
"And then a lot of other stuff happens," continues Hardy. "So it's kind of strange and non-linear... it's a romance that has this fantastical aspect to it and it's about... death and love and this idea of existence as like an amazing party that you're kind of maybe not experiencing as fully as you should be."
"I think people a lot of times get hung up on this idea of what could've been," says Grounds. "And a beautiful part of this play is [Claire's] realization of being able to let go of that and realizing, 'No... I want to live my life, even if it's just walking barefoot in grass... and tasting awesome cheeses.’ These are the things that are precious, and we so often overlook the precious because it seems ordinary."