There's a silence in the 70-seat theater as two leads, Kari and Peter, dance under the paper lanterns of the white wooden Pavilion. It's one of the longest silences in a show mostly spotted with laughter and applause.
"The Pavilion" opened last night at Hyde Park Theatre. The play, written by Craig Wright, whose writing credits include television shows "Six Feet Under" and "Lost," is about high school sweethearts Kari and Peter who reunite at their 20-year reunion.
"This play was a long time coming—it's always been on the list," said Ryan Crowder, producing artistic director for the show. "It just seemed like the right time, the company was in the right place, and we knew the right people."
This staging of "The Pavilion" was produced by Penfold Theatre Company, and it was the first Penfold show for both leads.
"I'm thrilled to be a part of this," Nancy Eyermann (Kari) said. "Penfold is the gem of Austin Theater."
Zach Thompson (Peter) also had positive things to say about Penfold, referring to this show as "one of the most rewarding experiences" in his acting career.
"Penfold understands that you have to get the emotion right before you do anything else—whether it be sets or lights or whatever else," Thompson said. "But if you get the emotion right, you could be acting on a completely blank stage."
Though the stage was not blank, it did feature one actress, Kim Adams, playing 20 of Kari and Peter's classmates. Adams is merely referred to in the program as her most dominant character of Narrator, an all-knowing being who explains the concept of time often and keeps the audience informed of the time.
Adams was also the source of most of the laughter with every spin that launched her into a different character: some with a bent walk to signal a pregnant belly, the hunched saunter of an old man or even the crawling of an inebriated person.
"I started out as a dancer when I was young," Adams said, "So parts with a lot of 'motion acting' are what I enjoy most."
"The Pavilion" will continue Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m. and Sun. at 5 p.m. at the Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd St., through May 13.