This week, University Theatre will debut M.F.A. playwriting student David Pollack’s Cures for Everything-a story about a well-known painter who has found himself in a slump of late and is searching for a new muse. Cures for Everything will run March 23-April 2 at the Cellar Theatre in the Fine Arts Building.
The play’s story revolves around Harvey-a schizophrenic painter-and his search to fill a void in his creative genius while looking to cure himself of his sickness.
Heidi Cline, the show’s guest director, has worked in Atlanta theatre as an actress, director, costume designer, producer and teacher for the past 16 years. Cline and her husband, Hudson Adams, co-founded and ran Soul-stice Repertory Ensemble for nine years, working out of Seven Stages and focusing on the classics.
“I like the idea of investigating the illness of the central character and the world he lives in,” says Cline of the new play. “These ills can be physical or mental. Everyone in this play has something they need a cure for, even the characters who are not as openly sick as Harvey.”
“Aside from the schizophrenia,” says Matthew Smith, who plays Harvey, “Harvey functions in essentially the same way that a lot of artists/actors/musicians do, myself included. His problems-solipsism, need for approval, elusive sense of self, misogyny (maybe ‘selective misanthropy’ is more accurate)-are sort of full-blown versions of the weaknesses and insecurities I deal with.”
“I work on new plays a lot,” says Cline. “It’s a great deal of fun. You try to fulfill the playwright’s vision and hope that you can help them to clarify their storytelling goals. If there are any adjustments that need to still happen with the writing, you just hope that, along with the dramaturge, you can help the playwright clarify what those adjustments need to be. It’s an exciting artistic process to be a part of.”