By Victoria Remley
Rosalyn Blystone’s directorial debut, “Sea Horse,” tells the love story of a sailor and a bar owner working through past emotions to trust each other and break down emotional walls. The two-person play touches on what happens in bars all over the world.
“Sea Horse,” written by Edward J. Moore, took over the stage at the Hopewell Theatre on Jan. 11, 12 and 13.
Blystone said Bales, a sailor, and Blum, a bar owner, have a physical relationship and Bales helps Blum at her bar when he comes home.
“They have a pretty superficial relationship based on the safety net of respecting each other,” Blystone said. “Showing respect for each other, helping out, pulling your own weight, but never really delving into past information or anything very emotional.”
“Sea Horse” was Blystone’s directorial debut, and she enjoyed helping Brian Suchora, who played Harry Bales and Lori George, who played Gertrude Blum, develop their characters and construct the set.
“The power between Brian and Lori has really been knocking people away,” she said.
To prepare for the production, Blystone, Suchora and George discussed their characters’ developments, how they react to painful instances and their chemistry. She said Harry and Gertrude truly do love each other and are very playful at times.
“[Suchora and George] had to really embrace that,” Blystone said. “Being comfortable with each other physically, being able to tease each other, they just did an amazing job capturing that.”
Suchora said “Sea Horse” explores relationships and is not a typical soap opera relationship, but all about trust and breaking those walls down.
He said he auditioned for the play because he loves acting, and being a part of a two-person show was a big deal to him.
“To boot, being a part of someone’s directorial debut was quite an honor that [Blystone] picked me as her leading man,” he said. “I wanted to make her proud. I love this art. I love this community of theatre here in Youngstown.”
George said many people can relate to “Sea Horse.” In the play, Bales must break down Blum’s walls.
“No matter how many walls she builds up, no matter how difficult she makes it for him, he never ever gives up on her and loves her through everything,” she said. “I think in some way we can all relate to that.”
George took part in “Sea Horse” because she loves drama, and she has never been in a two-person play before.
“This was a big challenge for me. It was exciting,” she said.
Evelyn Confer, from Youngstown, Ohio, said “Sea Horse” was beautiful and played out very nice and they brought out a lot of different things that happen in bars.
Confer came to the production to do something fun in the area, and said she likes Broadway plays and theatre.