A review by Rachel Flanagan
One man, one stage, one scene is set for the one-man show written, directed and performed by Rick Segall. Fishers of Men is the story of the final moments of Simon Peter and how those moments changed the life of another. After the death and resurrection of Christ, the disciples were still spreading the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire did not take kindly to these "Christians" On the night of July 18, 64 AD; a fire broke out in one of the Roman chariot racing stadiums and burned for six days and seven nights. The "Great Fire" as it became known, was the most devastating disasters in the history of Rome and rumors were swirling at who started the fire. The Christians were blamed, arrested and tortured for their supposed crimes. The Games, reenactments of the public killing of criminals and animals, was set to be the place of their execution the following day. One of those prisoners was Simon Peter and he was not alone in his cell.
The scene is set in a dark, dank and dreary cell. Simon Peter emerges with nothing but a ratty and dirty piece of cloth and no one else is in sight. He starts praying and talking to his cellmate. Rick Segall wrote this play with only one actor, one scene and no props, lighting changes or other distractions. The intent is for the audience to immerse themselves in the story the same way readers bury themselves in a book. All that a book provides is limited elements through words that engage the reader's imagination so that they become surrounded by the characters and settings in the story. Rick Segall uses this same concept to immerse the audience in his story. He plays multiple characters, changing his voice, his mannerisms and his position on the stage and it seems like there are more than one player on the stage.
Simon Peter and his cellmate share their stories, both of which revolve around the religious beliefs they have grown up to know as the one truth, but neither share the same truth. When the day of the Games come, Simon Peter is tasked to disavow his Christian believes but refuses, until his very end. His cellmate, having learned of Simon Peter's story and witness his strength and love for the God that he believes so strongly, sets out to make sure that no one will ever forget who Simon Peter was and what he did for a stranger in a cell the night before his own demise.
This epic tale will not leave a dry eye in the house as the powerful story combined with the captivating performance of Rick Segall come together for a courageous telling of the power of love and the strength of faith.
Fishers of Men
plays Friday and Saturday at 8pm and 3pm on Sundays. The show plays Friday, March 4th through Sunday March 27th at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre on Theatre Row.
Hudson Mainstage Theatre
6539 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA