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World Premier: David Hirzel’s one-act play “The Trial of Michel Terrehaute” at Fringe of Marin

May 12, 2015

Dateline May 2-9, 2015:
From the Introduction to “The Trial of Michel Terrehaute” by David Hirzel:

“The events you are about to witness come to this stage from history. The story is true, the men you will meet the survivors of these events. The British Navy had chosen John Franklin to lead an expedition to explore venture overland through the Canadian tundra to the Arctic Ocean in the summer of 1821. These men were poorly equipped in sustenance, in clothing, and in mental capacity to withstand the rigors of that winter’s early October onset. They had run out of food with hundreds of miles yet to go to reach their winter quarters. The main party went ahead.

“Three seamen, too weak to travel farther, stayed behind to await help or to meet their maker. One of them did die, perhaps by his own hand. Or perhaps by that of fourth man, the Iroquois Indian guide stronger than the others who had stayed behind with them. Whether to help, or to murder them, will never be known.”

Michel Terrehaute, the outsider of the three, was accused and tried in absentia, and executed for crimes he was suspected of, and crimes he had yet to commit. Did an act self-preservation on their part justify what in another country would be murder?

In a short twenty-minutes, “The Trial of Michel Terrehaute” considers the larger themes of justice in a harsh and unforgiving world. One not all that different from the one in which we live today, where war and terrorism raise their ugly heads in every nation.

Renée Mandel-Sher, DIRECTOR
Derek Jepsen, as JOHN HEPBURN, a sailor on shore
Michael Walraven, as JOHN RICHARDSON, Hepburn’s superior officer in the British Navy.

Fringe of Marin:

Rehearsal 4/24/15:  Director Renee Mandel-Sher with Michael Walraven and Derek Jepsen

Rehearsal 4/24/15: Director Renee Mandel-Sher with Michael Walraven and Derek Jepsen

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