Terra Nova, the award-winning play written by Ted Tally and directed by Scott Ramp, returns to the Pentacle Theatre stage for three special performances Feb. 9 and 11.

Pentacle first staged Terra Nova last July, but the production was cut short when lead actor Chris Benham had emergency eye surgery.

Benham has recovered and he and the other members of Pentacle’s original cast will return to play the final three performances cancelled last June.

“I am very excited to come back to the tale of Captain Scott and his tragic team of explorers,” Benham said.

“While the parallel of last year’s run of Terra Nova coming to a premature end so close to closing night is not lost on me, the cast, crew and I are glad to have the opportunity to tell this powerful story one more time,” said Benham.

“This limited run of Terra Nova is underwritten by our friends at Highway 99 restaurant in Brooks,” said Lisa Joyce, Pentacle Theatre’s executive director. “Their generosity means all proceeds will go directly to the theater.”

A thrilling tale of the race to the south pole

In the winter of 1911-1912, five Englishmen and five Norwegians raced each other to the bottom of the Earth. Only the Norwegians returned.

Terra Nova is the story of the ill-fated English expedition to be the first to reach the south pole, led by Capt. Robert Falcon Scott.

Scott’s discovery that the Norwegian team had preceded him, the bravery, suffering and self-sacrifice of the English team, and the final tragedy, are told in a mixture of fantasy and realism that underlines both the human and epic qualities of this thrilling adventure.

For director Scott Ramp, it’s more than a play — Terra Nova is a passion project.

“It’s a play that I performed in as a younger actor in my late 20s,” said Ramp.

“It was only the third production ever done. It’s just a play that I have loved forever,” he said.

Ramp’s passion runs deep. This is his second time directing Terra Nova, and Pentacle’s show features all the handmade, historically accurate and functional props that Ramp created for a 2012 production he directed as a professional theatre teacher in Los Angeles.

“Everything you see in Terra Nova, from the wooden sledge to the minute details of all the gear and supplies used by the team, are historic recreations I built from scratch a decade ago and brought out of storage for this show,” Ramp said. The expedition’s historically accurate costumes were created by Karen McCarty.

“This is a true story, and it’s told in a very poetic and avant-garde way,” said Ramp. “You also see all the gritty realism of what the polar party went through.”

amp says that while the play focuses on Capt. Scott and the four members of his team, it also includes scenes of Scott with his wife and with Roald Amundsen, the leader of the successful Norwegian expedition. In part real and imagined, Terra Nova is a thrilling, moving and sometimes humorous tale of a heroic quest to be the first.

Meet the cast

  • Chris Benham as Capt. Robert Falcon Scott.
  • Tim Jaeger as Roald Amundsen.
  • Kaelynn Kappes as Kathleen Bruce Scott.
  • Travis Brown as Lawrence “Titus” Oates.
  • Robert Sim as Edward Wilson.
  • Zach DuFault as Henry “Birdie” Bowers.
  • Ken Hermens as Petty Officer Edgar “Taff” Evans.

Know before you go

What: Terra Nova, by Ted Tally

  • Directed at Pentacle Theatre by Scott Ramp.
  • Sponsored by a generous donation from Route 99, Brooks.
  • Terra Nova is suitable for all ages.
  • Click for tickets.