Hickory – Charlie Chaplin once said, “In the creation of comedy, it is paradoxical that tragedy stimulates the spirit of ridicule; because ridicule, I suppose is an attitude of defiance: we must laugh in the face of our helplessness against the forces of nature – or go insane.”

Deborah Zoe Laufer’s comedy End Days shows that spirit of defiance in its humorous depiction of a family going through post-traumatic throes after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The show opens this weekend at the Hickory Community Theatre. Performances begin Friday, March 1 at 8pm and continue through March 17th. The play’s small family of three – Arthur, Sylvia and their daughter Rachel – each deal with their anxiety over the attacks in various ways. Arthur worked in the World Trade Center and managed to escape the towers before they fell. Since then, he has barely gotten out of his pajamas. Rachel is now a goth and has become the object of affection for Nelson, the boy next door, who always wears an Elvis costume as a sort of security blanket.

Sylvia has become a fundamentalist Christian who has determined that the Rapture will be on Wednesday.

This production is rated R because it contains adult language.

Performances of End Days are March 1-17, 2019, Fridays and Saturdays (Mar 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 & 16) at 8:00pm, Thursdays (Mar 7 & 14) at 7:30pm and Sundays (Mar 10 & 17) at 2:30pm.

Tickets for Fridays through Sundays are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors (60 and over), and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Tickets for Thursday night performances are $14 for adults and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Call the box office at 828-328-2283 or visit hickorytheatre.org to purchase tickets or get more information.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The Theatre’s 2018-2019 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. End Days is produced by Robert Abbey, Inc. and Dr. George Clay, III, DDS.

PHOTO: (from left) David Ingle, Chrissy Colavecchio Schramm and Hannah Millette are the Stein family in End Days. Photo by Ken Burns.