Saga of troubled teens plays out at the OPOP


July 05, 2001|By RICHARD MONTENEGRO, Staff Writer

Although the novel "David and Lisa" was written in the '60s, this tale of troubled teens set in a special school could be ripped from today's headlines.

Centered around a relationship that develops between David, an obsessive-compulsive with delusions of grandeur, and Lisa, a schizophrenic dealing with a split personality, the two exorcise their personal demons through psychiatrist Dr. Ellen Swinford.

On Friday and Saturday, the Mostly Theatre Company will stage a local production of the play, based on playwright James Reach's stage adaptation, starting at 7 p.m. in the Old Post Office Pavilion in El Centro. Admission is $5.

"David and Lisa" director Billy Brown, who also plays Dr. Swinford, said, "It's built around the relationship building up; David observes more than anything else and Lisa only communicates in rhyme as Lisa and as Muriel (her split personality) she communicates with a crayon, writing on a sketch pad."


Brown added there are a number of other interesting personalities in the play, including Sandra, a former overweight girl dealing with past issues, Kate, a nymphomaniac, and Carlos, who claims to have impregnated 13 girls. All attend the Berkeley School in New York City.

The novel "David and Lisa" was penned in 1961 by eminent psychiatrist Dr. Theodore Isaac Rubin and was adapted for the stage in 1962. In '63, an independently made feature film starring Janet Margolin and Keir Dullea hit the silver screen.

The Mostly Theatre Company production features Andres Mendez, 15, of Calexico as David and Shantee Dhillon, 15, of El Centro as Lisa. Other principal cast members are Harriet Fasolo of Imperial as David's mom and Tim Walker of El Centro as David's father.

Brown added a state psychiatrist will be on hand Friday for a question-and-answer session after the play.

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