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TheatreAC thriller 'King of Shadows' offers up classically inspired twist

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Karen Rivas and Alastair Sigala Ramirez star in "King of Shadows."
Photo by Chip Chandler

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

There's a twist to TheatreAC's season-opening play, the thriller King of Shadows, one that leading man Alastair Sigala Ramirez still hasn't decided how to interpret.

"I'm still going back and forth (on it)," Sigala Ramirez said. "I haven't settled it for myself yet."

Now, naturally, I don't want to give away the twist myself. Director Monty Downs certainly doesn't want to: "I don't know if I want to say ... anything (about it) because it's a nice little twist."

So how, then, do we talk about King of Shadows, a 2009 drama by American playwright Roberto Aguire-Sacasa to be staged Thursday through Sunday?

Downs said the drama has ties to a classic comedy — one he has recently directed, in fact.

The thriller focuses on four characters — Jessica, a mid-20s woman (Tressa Cardwell) working on a postgraduate degree by interviewing homeless teens; Eric, her police officer boyfriend (Chris Tarver); Sarah, her 15-year sister (Karen Rivas); and Nihar, a teenage runaway (Sigala Ramirez) who says he's on the run from demonic creatures from a mythical underworld.

Obviously, one possible interpretation is that Nihar is mentally unbalanced.

That's Jessica's initial thought when she brings the boy in off of the streets.

"I feel like it's hard to focus for her. Is this reality or not?" Cardwell said. "I don't think she's completely grounded in all of this.

"I feel like she genuinely wants to do a good thing, and she wants to make herself feel a little bit better about what she's doing with her job and that it's not just a waste," Cardwell continued. "This is worth something."

Perhaps, Sigala Ramirez suggested, Nihar is reacting to an abusive background, a "dark, twisted past."

"It's up to the audience," the actor said. "I have a way I'll play it, but it's up to the audience to decide."

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students, seniors and Amarillo College students, faculty and staff.

Call 806-371-5359.



Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and at on Facebook.