Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight! Life and Death in an Empty Hallway by Christopher Evans is an intense and honest drama with excellent character opportunities. A must-read and a springboard for important conversations.
Rick stumbles into a school hallway, alone. His breath is labored and there is blood on his chest. An announcement says that a fire has been reported in the building and everyone must evacuate.
He is visited by people from his life, some of whom have nothing kind to say. Is he hallucinating? And who is the voice from the classroom, calling for help? Will help come?
Why did we publish this play?
Chris writes striking work, and works that strike out. You cannot sit quietly and watch his plays, or forget about them the instant you leave the theatre. We firmly believe that we need plays in our catalogue that say things and create dialogue, and often that dialogue centres on topics people don't like or fear. I knew the moment I read this play that Theatrefolk should publish it.
1. Why did you write this play?
The spark came from a mass shooting training for our local police and fire departments. I was given what to play as a victim and was to play it through until they stopped the exercise. I was given chest wound injuries and was told to wait for rescue (lay down in front of a specific door) in a remote part of the school. While I was there on the floor I heard another actress who I couldn’t place screaming for help. It took a long time to get to me as there was also smoke and announcements blaring. The idea hit me. This scenario should be explored in the form of a short play. I also had wanted to work in a Christmas Carol three ghosts theme into a play for a long time and it fit into this play perfectly.
2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
The actions you take in life have repercussions (good and bad) beyond you.
3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
Elizabeth’s (the unseen girl) final entrance into the play.
4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
Don’t overthink it. Have actors connect and play the words. They’ll surprise you.
5. Why is this play great for student performers?
It's age-appropriate. It has some very dramatic passages the student actors crave to get their hands on..
6. Who is your favourite character in the play?
Journey - the guide in the play.
7. What is your favourite line in the play?
Lots of good lines but Journey’s monologue about the bizarre life and death of Canadian Daredevil Karel Souchak is one the anchors of the piece to me.