Treasure Island: An Exciting Adventure! - TribPapers

Treasure Island: An Exciting Adventure!

Photo by Kristi DeVille. Digital Enhancement by John Adams

Asheville – It’s a story we all know well. Whether your introduction to Treasure Island was through the 1883 novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Muppets film version, or even the Disney animated version, Treasure Planet, chances are this thrilling adventure has been in your life since childhood.

For me, seeing it live with my son on the Montford Park Players newly completed stage was the best way to experience this epic tale.
Written by local playwright Honor Moor (who gave us the Mountain Political Action Committee plays and Grimm’s 12 Dancing Princesses), this 140-year-old coming-of-age story was adapted and directed by David Doersch. While he is new to MPP, this is his third time directing Treasure Island, and what a wonderful job he did!

An actor, writer, director, and professional fight choreographer (among other skills), Doersch has utilized all of those to bring this swashbuckling novel to life in a huge way.

Filled with Doersch’s graceful, acrobatic fight scenes and Kristi DeVille’s mesmerizing dance choreography, there is a lot of action sure to amaze the younger audience members.

Much of the set and many of the hilarious bits in the show were created by the cast and crew, who have definitely given their all to this production.

Jon Robinson, playing the part of Long John Silver, even appears to have given his leg for this show, thanks to the donation of a prosthetic from Prosthesis Imbabura and Skyland Prosthetics and Orthotics. Robinson’s portrayal of the infamous pirate is laden with dark wit and deadly secrets.

Selah Atwood engaged and delighted the audience with their performance as Jim Hawkins, the child turned adventurer. While young themselves, Atwood is a veteran Montford Moppets actor and was in MPP’s Wendy and Peter earlier this season.

Doersch is a firm believer in drama mixed with comedy. “Getting the audience to trust you is important. Making them laugh is a great way to get them to trust you and then go along on the journey with you.”

Eric Vik and Lauren Powers (as Squire Trelawney and Doctor Livesey) were essential in adding that much-needed humor. Their comedic timing, delivery, and interactions (especially with each other) onstage were flawlessly funny.

Captivatingly delirious, John Adams’ “Ben Gunn” was not only wildly entertaining but also quite moving. The audience was rooting for him all the way.

While those of you who are familiar with the story know, many people in it are addressed as “Captain.” Craig Justus and Michael Carnavear (as Captain Smollet and Billy Bones) gave us two very different versions of that title and did so with incredible skill and emotion.

The cast is large, but I would also like to mention a few others. Brooks Wallace, Larson Kapitan, Gina McDaniel, and Carly Berdine all have some fantastic fight sequences, and there are also some wondrous vocalists in the mix.

Treasure Island runs through Saturday, August 26th, with performances on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. All shows start promptly at 7:30 p.m.