The Drawer Boy
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Evan Johnson

Will Marchetti, Robert Ernst and Joseph Parks star in Pacific Alliance Stage Company’s production of The Drawer Boy. Marchetti plays Angus and Ernst is his brother Morgan. They’re two WWII veterans who own a farm in Canada.

Morgan does most of the farm work and takes care of his brother. Angus was hit by shrapnel in the war and has a steel plate in his head that makes his memory very short term or as Morgan puts it: “All he knows is right now.”

One day Miles (Parks) knocks on their door. Miles is a young actor and aspiring playwright who asks if he could work on their farm so he could get a feel of what its like. Apparently he and his fellow actors are writing a play about farmers.

Morgan jumps at the chance to have a free laborer and doesn’t waste any time putting him to work stacking hay and sifting through manure. He also has a lot of fun with this young novice, convincing him of the intricate thought processes of cows.

The play is essentially a comedy with many laughs, but there is a serious side as well. The more questions Miles asks the more he uncovers the traumatic events of the war that shaped these two men’s lives.

The drama is very similar to Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men without the tragic ending. There’s even a story that Angus never gets tired of hearing from his brother. No, it’s not about rabbits. It’s about a boy who likes to draw.

This well acted drama is both engaging and fun. It also provides a look at a very different type of war trauma that often strikes the more rear echelon soldier. For tickets or more information call Spreckels Performing Arts Center in beautiful Rohnert Park at (707) 588-3400.

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