By Olivia Bednar
Fourth-year Ryerson theatre student Danny Ghantous stars in his first local theatre production, A Line in the Sand.
The play tells the story of a Canadian soldier who befriends a young Palestinian boy during a time of conflict. Their relationship takes the viewer on an emotional and gripping journey. With chilling twists and unique effects, the play had audience members constantly captivated.
Factory Theatre hosted the play as a part of the 2015/16 Naked Season and was performed in a large sandbox with minimal props.
“It’s a rare opportunity to get to explore an environment so deeply without the necessity for props,” Ghantous said. “In this way, we are creating our own world and environment which is a really unique opportunity.”
Nigel Shawn Williams, the director and also the associate artistic director of the Factory Theatre, said he enjoyed working with the gifted group of actors particularly in this play.
“It’s a joy and honour to be working with this talented cast on such a well crafted play, one that is just as poignant now as when it was first produced twenty years ago,” said Shawn Williams.
Ghantous said that he always knew he wanted to be an actor, but it wasn’t until his sixth grade teacher forced him into the school play that he discovered his passion for it.
“I had a fear of failing a lot, so I didn’t go to the audition, but she put me in the play anyway against my will, and ever since then I’ve been in love with acting,” Ghantous said.
This is Ghantous’ first play outside of school with a local theatre and he described, “Coming out into the professional world as “nerve-wracking.”
This play has been a new challenge for not only Ghantous, but the other two actors as well.
Morgan David Jones, who plays the Canadian soldier Mercer, said “It’s been wonderful to play Mercer, but he’s tough because he’s not like anything like me. I would not react in any way he would so I found that difficult to try and justify his emotions and his acts.”
John Cleland plays the Colonel who interrogates Mercer in the second half of the play.
“The fun part is trying not to make him a character of the Colonel, but to make him real,” Cleland said.
“I think its just been tiring because my character, Sadiq, is a very optimistic, energetic and small minded little kid,” Ghantous said. “It’s just about keeping that drive and that pace and energy throughout the play.”
Dimmed lights and the flash of cameras created interesting transitions between the scenes. At intermission, the actors broke character to perform speeches on war and international conflict.
A Line in the Sand is running from March 8 to 27 at the Factory Theatre.