The nature of survival and altruism will be put under a microscope during a seven-show run of the Cal Poly Pomona Department of Theatre and New Dance’s new studio play, “K2.”
Opening Thursday, Jan. 26 in the Studio Theatre, “K2” centers on characters Harold and Taylor during their return trip from summiting K2, the world’s second tallest mountain.
Sometimes referred to as the “Savage Mountain,” K2 claims one climber for every four who reach its summit. The odds already don’t favor Harold and Taylor, so when disaster strikes and one of them becomes severely injured, the mountain and the men’s different perspectives on the meaning and value of life will test the bond between them.
Starring Cal Poly Pomona students Tristan Price and Andrew Garcia, “K2” is a two-actor play that brings the frigid mountain along the China-Pakistan border into the university’s intimate Studio Theatre.
Director Michael T. Kachingwe says he hopes the characters’ thought-provoking dialogue throughout their ordeal will challenge audience members on intellectual and emotional planes.
“‘K2’ deals with survival and coming up against the decision of whether to be altruistic or be selfish,” Kachingwe says. “Neither or both characters can be selfless and honorable in how they approach the situation they’re in, so I want the audience to contemplate which relationships are so important to them that they’d give their lives for them.”
Some may readily say they would forego their lives to save a spouse, child or parent, but Kachingwe wants them to contemplate how far they would honestly go and consider the moral implications of doing so, he says.
Kachingwe adds that K2 and the characters’ perilous descent from its summit also serves as an enriching metaphor for life.
“Climbing the mountains is sometimes easier than coming back down,” he says. “You know what your challenges and goals are going up, so once you get to the top, it’s very difficult to come down.”
“K2” runs at 8 p.m. on Jan. 26-28 and Feb. 2-4. A 2 p.m. show is scheduled for Feb. 5.
The Cal Poly Pomona Studio Theatre is located in Building 25, Room 110.