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L.A. Beat

Local actors explore early American theatre in “Cocaine”

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A couple familiar faces reunite for a special Theatre Outré presentation of  Pendleton King’s 1916 play “Cocaine.,” running in Didi’s Playhaus, Dec. 14-17.

Anastasia Siceac and Trevor Loman star in Cocaine at T Didi's Playhaus, Dec. 14-17. Photo by RichardAmery

Trevor Loman and Anastasia Siceac . who started out co-directing the play , aren’t as much trying to spread a message about addiction as they are trying to remind  people that live theatre is still happening. hey hope  the two characters Joe and Nora  will resonate about audiences.


“ I discovered the play when I was looking at one act plays,” said Loman, who studied acting at the University of Lethbridge with Siceac and who has acted with her i with groups like the Shakespeare Performance Society.


“ Cocaine is by Pendleton King who wrote it in 1916 for  the Provincetown playhouse, which was the first theatre group to focus on just doing American plays rather than European plays,” said Loman, noting he intended to co-direct the play with Siceac, but she decided to just focus on acting.

“ There wasn't[t a lot of directing. It was more free-roaming and following our instincts as actors,” Loman said.


“IT’s about two characters Joe and Nora who are both addicted to cocaine in 1916 and who live together in an attic. Joe is a boxer who broke his arm so he can’t work any more.  Nora has just come home saying she hasn't made enough money. They are about to be kicked out  by their landlord because they can’t afford to pay the rent,” he continued.

“ They end up having a long philosophical discussion about life and  their addiction,” he said.


“ Joe has lost everything and feels a little guilty about not being able to support himself. He feels a need to contribute,” Loman said.


“It’s not a comedy, but it has an ending, that while it isn’t happy, is bittersweet,” he said.


“Nora is completely opposite from me, so playing her has been a challenge. She’s a cocaine addicted  prostitute. She comes from a good background, though not wealthy background. It’s an interesting juxtaposition. She doesn’t want Joe to go down the same path she has. She has some motherlike qualities. She cares for Joe she tries to save him. She’s kind of addicted to being with Joe.,” she said, adding she  has enjoyed working with Loman again.


“ It helps that we went through the same theatrical training. So we know each others needs as actors,” she said.


“ I hope audiences will find some thing of their own to take away from these characters,” Loman said.


While the show isn”t an official Theatre Outré  presentation,  they are the hosts of the show and all proceeds will be donated to  them.


“Cocaine” runs at Didi’s Playhaus, Dec. 14-17 at 7 p.m. each night. Tickets are available through

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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