The Peorian


Last updateMon, 15 Jun 2020 10pm

Back You are here: Home Entertainment Entertainment News Art 'God of Carnage' opens Friday at Corn Stock Theatre

'God of Carnage' opens Friday at Corn Stock Theatre

DSC 0147
Log in to save this page.

What happens then two sets of parents get together, intent on defending the honor of their child after a playground fight? Most likely a visit from the god of carnage, with mayhem plopped in the middle.

(Photo by Marc Wyckoff) The cast of "God of Carnage" rehearses recently at Corn Stock Theatre's Winter Playhouse in Upper Bradley Park. The Tony Award-winning show opens Friday.That's the basis of the Tony Award-winning play "God of Carnage," which opens its regional premiere Friday at Corn Stock Theatre's Winter Playhouse in Upper Bradley Park. The play, directed by Paul Gordon, was written by Yasmina Reza and translated into English by Christopher Hampton.

The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 and 25, and a 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students.

"God of Carnage" is a dark comedy, rated "R" because of the language, and it depicts a slice of life that is not at all flattering and yet, may enable some to see themselves in the characters. It bills itself as "A comedy of manners... without the manners."

"This show allows us to take a snapshot of ourselves and shows how many of us put children on a pedestal. And it shows the steps we take to keep them on that pedestal," said Tim Wyman, who portrays Michael Novak, owner of his own wholesale business with a self-satisfied mien born of being successful through hard work.

Each of the four characters in "God of Carnage" thinks mostly about themselves and how the events of the day — in this case the playground incident — affects them, added Tim Drew, who portrays attorney Alan Raleigh, important enough to have billionaire clients,  a license to practice abroad and a cynical nature that can't help but seep through.(Photo by Marc Wyckoff) Tim Drew, left, and Liz Bucklar Jockisch portray Alan and Annette Raleigh in Corn Stock Theatre's production of "God of Carnage," which opens Friday at the theatre's Winter Playhouse in Upper Bradley Park.

"This show is about the epitome of selfishness. Each of the characters is self-centered but rationalizes it by trying to create the illusion they care about others. One of the most telling lines in the play is one about how adults can often become infantile when defending their children. Like all good theatre, this play affords the opportunity to see that and possibly, to reflect upon our own lives," Drew said.

Liz Bucklar Jockisch portrays Annette Raleigh, whose whole life seems wrapped around keeping her husband and their child happy and is unable to accept the idea her son is a menace.

"We see an exaggerated form of how most real people would be and yet we also see a lot of truths in these characters, in their words. I love how this play allows the audience into the Novaks' living room to see up close how people can be when their children are attacked. You see a lot of truth in my character and how she evolves during the show; we probably all know somebody like that," she said.

"There has to be a lot of truth in it or it just wouldn't be as funny," Jockisch added.

Lee Anne Roling Hale portrays Veronica Novak, a proud woman who puts herself on a pedestal because she does what she believes is important work, including making sure her children are cultured, while tolerating her husband.

"I think this play highlights how tragic our lives can be, are, and how much we fight to convince the world and ourselves that they are not," Hale said. "What is fascinating about the play is that it slowly wipes away the mask each character shows the world. Is this not true of us?

"This play is about liberation. While the characters would never reveal their truth in the manner they do and in such company, it is essential that it happens and in the ways it does," she said.

The performers, all veterans of the local stage, agreed there is little to like about the characters.

(Photo by Marc Wyckoff) Lee Anne Roling Hale, left, and Tim Wyman portray Veronica and Michael Novak in the regional premiere of "God of Carnage," the Tony Award-winning comedy that opens Friday at Corn Stock Theatre's Winter Playhouse. Said Wyman, "If we find empathy with any of the characters, it fails. We have failed. There are no redeeming qualities there."

"I really don't think that was the intention of the playwright," said Jockisch. "It's really kind of hard to like any of the characters by the time the show is over."

"God of Carnage" was nominated for multiple Tony Awards in 2009, winning the award for Best Play. One of the actors, Marcia Gay Harden, who portrayed Veronica Novak, won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a play.

The other three original cast -- James Gandolfini as Michael Novak and Jeff Daniels and Hope Davis as the Raleighs -- also were nominated for Tonys.

The play closed on Broadway on June 6, 2010 after 452 performances.

The show is one-act, only about 80 minutes long. 

There will be a talk-back after each Corn Stock Theatre performance to give the audience a chance to discuss the show with the cast and director.

To reserve tickets call the Corn Stock box office at (309) 676-2196 or go to"


About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).