Steve Cherry

Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher must be connected to the mob—there's no compelling reason to produce one of his plays except the threat of broken kneecaps. The alternative, that Integrity Productions made the decision to produce Scotland Road under a complete lack of duress, is too depressing to contemplate. With a world of plays to pick from, this is the one that called out to you?

In Scotland Road, it's 1993 and a woman is found sitting on a glacier in the Atlantic Ocean. She utters a single word to her rescuers: "Titanic." News stories of the woman who survived the 1912 disaster and lived 80 years on a glacier without aging catch the attention of a mysterious man from the Badlands, who pays off her doctors to let him have some time with her. He's obsessed with the Titanic and is determined to find out who this woman is.

In this cat-and-mouse game of deception, identity, and perception, the overriding question is... "Who cares?" Thanks to Hatcher's skull-crushingly dull dialogue and Rebecca Lowe's murky direction and pacing, this is the longest 90 minutes in town. It is, however, an excellent example of the William Shatner School of Dramatic Tension. Furrowed brows, intense walks from one side of the stage to the other, and lines delivered at a single pitch are used as stand-ins for actual tension, suspense, and intrigue. There are, to be fair, a few funny moments—unfortunately, they're absolutely unintentional.

Although a paying audience definitely gets the short end of the stick on this deal, the real losers here are the actors. Whether they have any talent or not (because in this show, you really can't tell), these four people (who, out of respect, will remain nameless) are forced to get on stage and perform this show on multiple nights for weeks in a row. Then again, life is a series of choices—and we're all accountable for our own decisions. That's perhaps the biggest disappointment of Integrity's Scotland Road. If, in fact, Integrity is not paying off a debt to Jeffrey Hatcher by producing his play, then they made the choice on their own. And people wonder why theater in this town gets a bad rap.