November 22, 2012

Play traces fatal South Pole expedition


“Terra Nova” stars Matthew Dubrey, Matt Eick, Jordan Hornstein, Chris Leifheit, Megan Macdonald, Chris McGovern and Brandon Patterson.

“The Norwegians arrived a month ahead of the Englishmen,” Pettee said. “Scott arrived a whole month later, which meant he was going to run into bad weather on the way back.”

Though the Norwegians and the Englishmen didn’t cross paths, Amundsen appears to Scott in the play.

“He acts as a foil or force at times,” Pettee said. “He’s prodding Scott to think about things in a different way. One of Amundsen’s key phrases is ‘You need to think of the details. You need to think of everything as a tool … a dog, a man. If it breaks down, you throw it away.’”

Evans and Oates’s injuries slows the expedition, thereby dooming them all.

“We do see these people surviving almost completely insurmountable odds. There’s a heroic attitude. There’s something that is very satisfying about Scott’s rise to deal with his situation in a heroic way,” Pettee said.

In one conversation with the ghostly Amundsen, the trapped Scott realizes he was born for this moment.

“His arrival at the pole second is not the point. He made this journey and survived in a heroic fashion until the end,” Pettee said.

The play’s first act centers on the expedition’s hopeful beginning. The second act centers on their inability to return alive.

“It ends in a very hopeful way with actual words from Scott’s diary,” Pettee said. “How he talked about the journey and party of men he’s been with and how they have persevered.”

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IF YOU GO WHAT: "Terra Nova" by Ted Tally. WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 29 and 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1. WHERE: Pendragon Theatre, 15 Brandy Brook Ave., Saranac Lake. ADMISSION: Tickets cost $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and students, and $10 for those 17 and under. CONTACT: For reservations, call 891-1854. For questions, email or visit

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