Audience: Rachel Frost


Start Swimming

I watched this production when it first went up in February and I don't think any description prepared me for what unfurled on the stage. A dystopian world unfolds itself in front of the audience's eyes and it is quickly understood in the dynamics between the actors and their set. This play almost mimics contemporary choral pieces, combining together rhythms that normally don't match but flow seamlessly somehow through its message. The message itself is up for the audience to interpret and ponder upon, definitely questioning authority but also questioning our willingness to stick to what's deemed correct or what we morally feel is right. The vocal quality says it all as each character, a different number, has it's own volume and pitch, personalizing an objectively nameless character into someone understandable. The cast works very well together in this ensemble piece, always on the balls of their feet, ready for what comes next. The costumes unify it with it's urgency, no notice to the rips and tears but a utilitarian sense in the belts and easily moveable clothing. The effects are particularly intriguing with it's seeming repetition but slight difference in every cue, making you delve into the message even further. And all of this is under the umbrella of the director who brings her flexibility, intelligence, and creativity to the stage with this bare bones script brought to a new dimension.




Waiting in the audience was a perplexing sound, music that was reminiscent of chimes in a bamboo forest, one wouldn't know what to expect. Then in walks a mother and a daughter, later another daughter which then unfold a story of different kinds of love and the anguish it can bring. The director brought upon herself a challenge which was very precisely met. It all takes place in a living room which has seen memories that roughed up carpets and ripped holes in couches but also brought warmth to a devoted family. One finds themselves within each person, the vacillation of staying or leaving and the teeter totter of belief and doubt. Each aspect of this production was carefully laid out on the stage as all other inhibitions fly away and the audience member becomes a part of the lives of each family member. Each word of Louise's haiku evoking an internal response, the conflict in Billie's eyes to trust and the struggle in her mother Nell to gain it is omnipresent and encapsulating as a whole. The actors went all in and left every piece of themselves within these human beings on the stage, flowing through the 30 minute play with a fluidity that makes one forget where they are completely. The tenderness between Billie and her sister Louise is captivating while the heartbreak going through Nell's body is everywhere as she struggles to love the one's that reminds her of her deceased husband. Her need to be accepted by her daughter is examined as there is light brought to an issue of approval among relationships that are generally expected to automatically have it. Bringing forth emotions one doesn't even remember they had, this play is a revelation and is so intricately beautiful that multiple viewings are necessary.