Mediums at Work at The Orpheus Variations

There was a point in The Orpheus Variations’s short 45-minute progress where I thought to myself, I should really just drop everything and join an experimental theater company. It’s so exciting to see a production whose mission is so purposeful and whose work is not only unique, but also innovatively reflective on the future of the performing arts.

Robert Kitchens & Amanda Dieli in The Orpheus Variations - Photos by Mitch Dean
Robert Kitchens & Amanda Dieli in The Orpheus Variations – Photos by Mitch Dean

Orpheus is not so much a story as a conglomeration of reflections on love, relationships, loss, and memory. While the title does invoke the Greek myth of Orpheus, the famed musician who travels to the Underworld after his wife Eurydice dies on the day of their wedding, the myth’s presence in the play is at most symbolic. The script, which is more like a two-person lyrical ballad/ narrative voiceover, is recited stage left by ensemble members while ‘Orpheus’ and ‘Eurydice’ act out their fragmented roles without speech.

While this is happening, two other ensemble members each film the actors with hand-held video recorders. This live video feed is controlled by a feed technician and is projected onto a screen behind the actors so that the audience watches the film as it being produced. What is most striking about the simultaneous live performance/video capture is the sharp dissonances between the two. The first dissonance is that fact that inherent in the two different mediums is the concept of time. In film, we take for granted that what is being filmed HAS been filmed. The performances in the film are in the past and have been reproduced so that we can watch them at our convenience. Film’s time is also cognitively different for the film’s cast and crew. They may do scenes out of order; they may have repetitive takes that can them be edited on or edited out; they may take as much time needed to set up a costume or a location. The sequence and length of scenes in a film has no relationship to the actual time taken to produce. (I just watched an interview with Gene Wilder– my new old Hollywood crush– where he states that he felt much  more liberated on a film set than on a stage precisely because he could be free to experiment in each take with the knowledge that it could be re-done, edited out, or re-scripted). Stage work, on the other hand, produces a real-time representation of the work needed to create a story. We know that in a two-hour play, the cast and crew will be working for those two hours in sequence, even if the plot’s events constitute more than a two-hour span. What you see is what you get.

In Orpheus, what you see is what you get… and then some. The Deconstructive Theatre Project, the aforementioned theater troupe I’d impulsively join, makes deconstruction about WAY more than the transparency of process (in the Brechtian vein of breaking the fourth wall, making sets and costumes look fabricated and unrealistic, etc.). Here, we actually see the lie that the process produces– the film projected behind us. This is another dissonance of the process. We see the actors using makeshift tools (a piece of wallpaper, a miniature house, a train set, a spray can, a branch, a clear container of sand, etc.) to produce a very pretty realistic film. Even though we see that ‘Eurydice’ only has her feet in a fishtank, the film shows her clearly drowning. Even though we see the hands of an Orpheus double preparing tea while the real Orpheus prepares for his next scene, the film makes the transition seamless.

The ensemble’s energetic, yet quite mechanical, live production of a film is all for the sake of process mirroring content. Here’s where things get a bit trippy. Artistic Director Adam Thompson explained in the company talk back how his interest in the neuroscience of memory was integrated into the structure of the play. For one thing, the part of the brain that recalls memories is the same part of the brain used in our imaginative thinking. As has been shown time and again in psychological studies, memories are incredibly fickle things, easily-influenced by our emotional states, our biases, our environments, our imaginations, etc. Memory is likewise a construction of different sensory intake, all located in different parts of the brain.

For the DTP, the film projection is Orpheus’s constructed memory. Meanwhile, the audience is privy to the simultaneous construction of the memory through the actors live performance. We can see exactly how the symbolic memory effectively misrepresents the actual process. It lies to us. The company’s busy efforts to set up the scenes for these memories mimic the way that we, both biologically and emotionally, busily struggle to reproduce (and also reconstruct) our memories.

Awesome stuff, huh?

Now, getting back to the lovers, I definitely think that the play can continue to develop its themes through the couple’s relationship as the company intends to extend it. While the relationship between lying and memory is extraordinarily effective in the process of the play, do we have any reason to doubt Orpheus’s recollections? Might the content and form become even more unified had there been planted in the audience’s mind certain seeds of doubt as to how reliable our narrators’ accounts are? It doesn’t need to be overt– the script’s nuanced, poetic language is a perfect accompaniment to the business of the stage. It makes a completed piece that resonates both on an emotional and intellectual level. I’m very interested to see how DTP continues to work in its multimedia approach and where they decide to take both Orpheus and their mission.

The Orpheus Variations is being presented this weekend only (through June 30) at the HERE Arts Center by the Deconstructive Theatre Project.

Age of Convoluted Blockbusters

An excellent essay by the always insightful, intelligent, and presumably handsome FilmCritHulk. I feel exactly the same way about Star Trek, Man of Steel, and the past season of Doctor Who.

The Comedy of Errors at Shakespeare in the Park

When I took a Shakespeare class in college, The Comedy of Errors was the first play we read. I remember gearing up, collecting all my English major prowess, ready to tackle probably the best writer of the English language.

Well, Comedy of Errors ain’t no Hamlet. This fact can be a little frustrating (especially if you dived into the play expecting roaring soliloquies and poignant cultural critique) but for the most part, it’s amazingly refreshing. Errors pretty much allows you to sit back and enjoy the ride, which comes complete with lots of laughs and a happy ending.

Shakespeare in the Park’s Errors is perfectly cast. I’ve only seen Hamish Linklater in three roles but those three have shown me what a versatile and engaging actor he is. Jesse Tyler Ferguson also gets back to his theater roots, displaying his great comedic timing, nuanced delivery, and altogether fun presence (Let me take this moment to gloat that I saw 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for my birthday several years ago and then saw JTF in a theater lobby a few months ago and I said hi and told him that he was awesome and he was really kind and okay I’m done now).

Together, Linklater and Ferguson have excellent chemistry as Antipholus and Dromio… or should I say, Antipholi and Dromios. You see, they play sets of twins– one from the play’s setting, Ephesus, and the other from nearby Syracuse. The Antipholi were separated in a shipwreck, along with their servants the Dromios. Antipholus of Syracuse arrives at Ephesus with his Dromio to search for his Ephesian brother. The Syracuse set are usually played as well-mannered and more civilized than their Ephesian counterparts, and this production plays along with the trope. It’s quite fun to see both actor get to play aristocrats as well as seedy bullies in the same play.

It also means that the duo are on stage for nearly the whole play. Scene changes are aided by swing dance interludes, some clever trap doors, and presumably a lot of running on Linklater’s and Ferguson’s parts.

While I praise the acting, I felt that there were a lot of strange choices in the show that were probably done with comedic intent but fell a bit flat. Every five or so minutes there would be a joke that felt stale, out-of-place, or just a bit uncomfortable to watch. Take for example, Egeon’s puppet and boat shtick during his expository monologue. As he describes his sons’ separation, he pulls out four dolls and a ship mast from his briefcase, and virtually acts out the shipwreck with puppets. I mean, I guess it was cute? The only way I felt it was funny was in a self-referential way– Egeon’s LONG monologue is notorious as evidence that Shakespeare was still getting the hang of things in this early work. Thus, a puppet show might have been kind of like saying “Yea, we know this bit is long and boring and we don’t really know what else to do with it *shake fist at Shakespeare*” But honestly, you’re Shakespeare in the Park. AND you’ve got Hamish Linklater and Jesse Tyler Ferguson waiting in the wings to come out which you guys do a puppet show? And you couldn’t figure out a more clever or creative way to get this done?

There are other jokes and gags that just felt inappropriate or unfunny. The gorgeous De’Andre Aziza has her comedic talent wasted by relegating her to shaking her boobs and making funny faces behind a nun’s back. Huh? Even JTF and Linklater had some lines that never really found their mark, not particularly because of their delivery but because of mismatched environments or missed set-ups. There were a few moments throughout the play when the actors interrupted the script with more contemporary interjections, which could have been funny but instead felt like pandering to a supposedly text-savvy contemporary audience.

Oh, and guess what? When you have one actor playing two characters, what are you supposed to do when those two characters finally meet on stage in the last scene? If you’re the Public Theater, you do something clever, something witty, something self-referential and pointed. You DON’T have two random cast members fill in for the missing characters, keep their backs turned to the audience, and give all their lines to their counterparts so they don’t have to speak. Honestly, everyone in the audience is waiting to see what the Public will do when the brothers finally confront each other. We know there’s only one actor, that’s part of the marvel of the rest of the play. The choice to step around the falseness of the last scene and ignore it instead of confronting it head-on with some hilarious new possibility (Think something along the lines of the ‘fifth actor’ in The 39 Steps)– that choice kills the tone of the play’s ending. Errors’s ending is supposed to inspire brotherhood and community. Brotherhood is not trying to get away with having faceless, voiceless actors play parts that the audience knows don’t actually belong to them.

To end on a positive note, though, much of Errors does hit its mark. You’ve got kitchen appliances, demonic possessions, a faux-Freud psychologist, a fat lady being compared to a globe in an epic extended metaphor, some Python-esque running around, nuns with guns, mobsters recitating Shakespeare with accents from The Sopranos, and tons more. Not to mention a bright, revolving set that is almost as entrancing as the actors on stage.

P.S. Even though Errors is most likely the lightest of Shakespeare’s comedies, there’s a lot of interesting themes to look into. In my Shakespeare class, we looked at the play as a troubled reflection on a rapidly industrializing and mercantile Elizabethan London, where citizens are surrounded by strangeness and can’t seem to find their way in the world. Also, does anyone else see a similarity between Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw and Errors?  Plot-wise they’re pretty goshdarn similar, minus the cross-dresssing, and the ending is pretty interesting if you consider the role of the family in restoring the social status quo. I totally don’t miss school, if you can’t tell.

Art Imitates Life in “Geppetto” at HERE

1 Geppetto-Photo by Stefan Hagen-w

Geppetto is one of the many multimedia, multigenre productions that the HERE Arts Center offers. Part one-man show, part puppet theater, part musical performance, Geppetto‘s unique storytelling elements makes its short hour-long run performance a special one.

Geppetto, presented by Concrete Temple Theater, opens upon a puppetry workshop. Different styles of puppets and puppetry tools line the walls, as do posters announcing past productions by the Mythic Puppet Theater, led by husband and wife duo Geppetto and Donna. Each show adapts a classic Greek myth. We learn, however, that Donna has died recently, and her grieving husband must now produce a puppet show on his own. He decides to revive one of their classics. But when he tries to play all the parts at once, his puppets end up in shambles. Gepetto’s vain attempts to put on a show (he first tries out Perseus and Andromeda, then Helen and Menelaus) are sometimes comic as he juggles around puppets and ‘improvises’ mythological scenes. But overall, Geppetto cannot compensate for his lost partner. He cannot revisit the past as if she were still alive–and the tone remains somber throughout his mistakes.

The role of mythology in this play is a complex one. Myths are cultural essentials. You cannot improvise, change, or revise a myth. Geppetto cannot, for example, change the ending of Helen’s fate or make Perseus kill the monster with a hammer instead of a sword, because they are unchangeable. He is virtually stuck in his own productions, much like he is stuck in his grief. His loneliness confines him, just as the myths confine his storytelling.

On the other hand, Geppetto also shows the cultural importance of mythology in the act of healing. Geppetto’s last attempt to revive his plays is a production of Orpheus and Eurydice (probably my second favorite myth next to Cupid and Psyche). Orpheus is a famed musician who journeys to the underworld to revive his dead wife Eurydice. Hades approves her return on the condition that Orpheus must not look at his wife until they have reached the land of the living. For reasons that differ depending on which account you read, Orpheus looks at Eurydice in the final moments of their return, Eurydice is plunged back into the underworld,  and Orpheus loses his wife for the remainder of his life. The fact that Geppetto’s emotional journey matches Orpheus’s is not lost on the puppeteer, and through the story, he comes to the realization that he has, in fact, lost his wife forever. She cannot return, nor can he continue as if she has. Geppetto’s decision and his subsequent hope is truly touching as he frees himself from his grief and from his mythic confinements.

The play, written by Renee Philippi, was inspired by an interview with double amputee Hugh Herr, whose recovery resulted in a revelation that his loss can become his strength. He now can wear different ‘feet’ for different occasions (making him a much better athletic than most).  While the play is quite layered with themes of loss and redemption, no part was as potent as the play’s ending. I wished that some of Geppetto’s puppet shows were perhaps a little shorter, or at least richer with emotion, but hey, this is a family-friendly show too. Carlo Adinolfi is engaging as an actor and a puppeteer. But the real star of the show is Lewis Flinn’s hauntingly beautiful score, played on a single cello by Jeanette Stenson. The music truly provides layers of depth to this simple production and highlights the mythic proportions of Geppetto’s journey into new selfhood.

Geppetto runs through June 30. Get tickets HERE (lol pun!)

Nota Bene: This production is in no way, shape, or form related to this masterful work of film, also entitled “Geppetto.”

Basilica at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater

Father Gil (Alfredo Narciso) and Lela (Selenis Leyva) unwillingly revisit old memories

The Cherry Lane Theatre always offers exciting new plays and Basilica, written by Mando Rivera, is no exception. There’s plenty to note about this production, particularly its outstanding Latino cast. It’s comforting to see that there are strong roles out there for Latino actors, as well as opportunities for writers to explore a growing Hispanic-American experience.

In fact, at its start, the events surrounding the Garza family sound like those in any typical family drama by <insert famous American playwright here.> High school senior Ray (Jake Cannavale, though played by understudy Oscar Cabrera at our show)  aims for more than his small-town life in San Juan, Texas can afford. He subverts his father’s expectations when he gets accepted and decides to enroll in a liberal arts school in Chicago, escaping a seeming cycle of alcoholism, depression, and low ambition exhibited by his father Joe (expertly played by Felix Solis) and drinking buddy Cesar (a natural Bernardo Cubría).

Things get complicated when a new priest arrives at the basilica (kind of like a super-church) who has a hidden past involving Ray’s mother Lela (Leyva). You don’t really need to be accomplished theater critics like ourselves to figure out what’s going on and its implications.

What does set this family apart from other conventional theater families is their incredible dependence on religion. Each family member has their own unique relationship to Catholicism– whether its Lela’s devotional self-sacrifice and passivity to God’s will, Father Gil’s resentful and guilt-induced holiness, or Joe’s unwilling awe– a strange Trinity of sorts. The Garza children are still experimenting with religion. Ray borders on indifferent while sister Jessica is seen trying her hand at voodoo, Islam, and Buddhism.

Structurally, Act 1 is solid. It exposes conflicts and character dynamics in a way that sympathizes with but also distances us from their actions. The writing is funny, light, but also tightly structured. In the second act, however, things begin to unravel with a TOTALLY unexpected plot twist that feels terribly unnecessary. In fact, I feel like I speak for the audience when I say that we actually felt much more interested in the plot’s resolution had said plot twist been absent. Also, sister Jessica’s weird fascination with a missing imaginary friend and experimental religious practices is never fully explained or resolved and leaves a bit of a hole in our understanding of the play’s relationship to religion.

Basilica really excels in its technical aspects. Set Design adds quite some layer to the family dynamics. A bar, the basilica, and the Garza foyer functionally meld into one set. At their crossing, a gaping cross looms over the stage which, when lit, is quite imposing. Sound design also proves essential to setting the tone for this family tragi-comedy. I’d probably grab a track or two if ’twere downloadable.

All of the adult actors give vivid performances. While I want to single out Felix Solis and Selenis Leyva for their genuine, dynamic performances, I’d feel remiss in not mentioning Bernardo Cubría and Rosal Colón for their supporting roles as goofy Cesar and embittered Lou. Oscar Cabrera also gave a star turn in his performance. Norma and I caught glimpses of Oscar’s rehearsals before the performance (his first in the role), which made us all the more excited to see him perform.

Basilica plays through June 22nd.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle at Classic Stage Company

Because Dr. Emmett Brown is a communist, of course.

This has been an AH-mazing year for Brecht on the Off-Broadway Stage. Leading the pack was La Mama’s production of The Good Person of Szechwan. I am in no way exaggerating that Good Person was one of the best theatrical experiences I’ve ever had. Catch it when it comes to the Public Theater’s Fall 2013 season if you know what’s best for you.

For Caucasian Chalk Circle to follow up La Mama’s act means it needed to meet public expectations for innovative staging, great musical numbers, diverse talent that showcases Brecht’s knack for combining joyous hilarity with utter sadness, and vibrant direction that mixes fun with social consciousness.

Thankfully, Chalk Circle serves up just such a production. And the thanks doesn’t just go to the show’s poster child (poster-elder?) Christopher Lloyd– I’ll get to Mr. Lloyd and his awesome self in just a minute.

The play masterfully mixes the sentimental and the abstract, comedy and tragedy, potent storytelling and meta-narrative. Throw in a dash of some rather unique musical numbers and imaginative staging– I can barely think of anything this production does wrong.

Now, Chalk Circle doesn’t have the kitschy pizzazz that made Szechwan a success with audiences. But it is also a rather very different kind of story.  Grusha, a palace maid, saves a baby Prince in a turbulent time of Revolution. She raises the child as her own, making many sacrifices along the way to keep the child’s identity a secret. Once the monarchy is restored, however, Grusha is found out and taken to trial. Since Brecht is Brecht, there’s a whole play within a play structure, which the CSC company makes hilarious use of. Grusha, like Shen Te, is a simple yet heartbreaking character that audiences can truly root for. There’s also an interesting motif of motherhood in both plays… was Brecht possibly drawn to motherhood as a contrast to the paternalistic society and alienating economy he worked through? Hm.

The cast plays several parts, all excellently, and there is truly an ensemble quality to the piece. Christopher Lloyd doesn’t so much steal the show as merely astound us with his physical agility, resounding voice, and frank acting. Lloyd actually switches characters mid-play, and the difference between the rickety, low-voiced Singer and his confident, bombastic, vulgar Judge is a credit to his talent (and makes for the best Act I closing line that I have probably ever seen).

So now that I’m a total Brecht nut, I can fully endorse both Chalk Circle AND Szechwan when it makes its way to the Public this fall.

Why Can’t James Franco Just Let Me Hate Him???

I hate you.

Lord knows I’ve seen the man fail time and time again. And fail he has in many, many ways. Depending on which movie you’ve seen, he’s either a terribly lazy, one-note actor, or he’s a brilliant leading man able to demonstrate depth and charisma. Lord knows we love to hate terrible party hosts, and Franco pretty much topped the list of worst hosts ever. His forays into poetry, writing, journalism, fashion, underground art, underground music (basically anything the man can get his grips on) have been a bit on the underwhelming side, but far better than most of his Hollywood peers who tried to similarly branch into other art forms. And then there are his multiple MFA’s, BFA’s, and continuing life as a student, part-time professor, which has gained plenty of media attention. Is he pretentious? A bully? Does his celebrity status give him privilege to present mediocrity as art?

Or does his celebrity status mean that his art is often presented as mediocrity?

I think that’s the central puzzle to Franco’s prolific career. Have we been taking him for granted this whole time? Has he been fooling us with his stoner movies and self-entitled attitude? Then why can’t we just tune him out?

I thought I could. And then this happened: Apparently, As I Lay Dying, written by, directed by, and starring (dontyaknowit) James Franco premiered at Cannes. And it got a good review. DAMMIT.

Here I was thinking that I’d be the one to write the best screenplay EVER to adapt a Faulkner novel (my choice is Sound and the Fury). Freaking Franco beat me to it.

So now I’m gonna have to pay attention to this man for at least another few months until the film’s premiere. And then I’ll probably have to praise him for the movie’s successes. Good grief.

Well, at least I can always fondly remember that one time Stephen Colbert OWNED him in Lord of the Rings trivia…

On Criticism…

This week, three  articles came out on the internets that put the role of the critic into question. It got us thinking about what exactly should a review do and what are the best ways that a review can relate its ideas (aka judgment) while still privileging audiences’ individual experiences of a work of art.

The first is Alec Baldwin’s Huffington Post article on the closing of his Broadway show Orphans (which we reviewed earlier this month). In it, he compares the work of former New York Times theater critic honcho, Frank Rich, and the newspaper’s reigning critic, Ben Brantley. Now, for the most part, it seems like Baldwin’s gripe with Brantley comes from the fact that Orphans’s early closing comes partly as a result of Brantley’s less than happy review, which particularly took issue with Baldwin’s performance (we felt similarly *womp womp*).  HOWEVER, Baldwin’s discussion of what a critic SHOULD and SHOULD NOT do in a review is pretty relevant to our interests as cultural consumers. Many readers and audiences read reviews to know whether they should invest their time and money into a given work of art. If it’s bad, why bother? Well, ‘bothering’ is precisely the issue that Baldwin rallies for. Should a critic’s review give its subject the luxury of figuring out what the production’s goals were and how well they attained them? Or can a review just be a stamp of approval/rejection? Should a critic give the same thoughtful care and analysis to all works of arts, no matter their ‘goodness’ or ‘badness?’  I (Sara) would like to think so. As an evolving critic, I try to swap judgments for analysis. But with so much to read and/or watch, isn’t it a little refreshing (as an audience member of course and not as a production member) to be TOLD what to do? What’s worth my allotted spending money?


The second is from FilmCritHulk’s article linking Iron Man 3 reviews and the nature of spoilers. If you haven’t read FilmCritHulk’s work before, get started. He’s way more than just a film reviewer. He’s a critic and a teacher of all things film and narrative-related. His stuff is almost always on point (I have my disagreements here and there) but more valuable than his opinions are his thorough, authentic, thoughtful, and educational explanations. This article discusses the power relationship between critic and reader– namely, the fact that the viewer typically has not seen the work in question. Hulk states that reviews should always put a viewer in the best position to enjoy a film. Hulk often reflects on the “You should never hate a movie” doctrine, and this is just another manifestation of that. Is this more than a “If you have nothing nice to say…” maxim? I think so. But does that mean that there should be no such thing as a bad review? I try to stay away from writing bad reviews myself. But then again, I don’t have quite the same audience, and therefore responsibility, as someone like Hulk or Ben Brantley (ONE DAY, BRANTLEY…)


The last article has been making its way around the internet (or maybe just that nerdy literary stuff I follow). It’s called “Don’t Make Fun of Renowned Dan Brown,” from Telegraph writer, Michael Deacon. It’s pretty frickin’ brilliant. Basically, it’s a critique of Dan Brown’s writing style… in the writing style of Dan Brown. Pretty meta, huh? I frickin’ love meta stuff. But more than that, it’s a review that doesn’t put its reader at a disadvantage. Because, in fact, it’s confronting you with pretty much the exact thing it’s examining. But y’know, with satire. It’s a bit like an episode of The Colbert Report. However, the reliability of a review like this is based entirely on the accuracy of the reviewer’s depiction. You can judge for yourself if you’ve read Dan Brown before. Colbert’s success works mostly on the fact that his shtick on political pundits is pretty spot-on. But again, this type of review works because it places the reviewer and the reader on a much more equal level than someone who just spews judgment.


Good times, you guys.




4 Reasons Why Water by the Spoonful is Awesome


Last night Water by the Spoonful had its New York premiere at the Second Stage Theatre.  Here are some reasons why it’s awesome:

1. It is the first Pulitzer Prize-winning play by a Latina playwright.

And boy does Quiara Alegría Hudes represent. Water by the Spoonful follows ex-Marine Elliot and his return home to Philadelphia. While Elliot’s postwar demons are not new, the perspective of a Latino veteran is. The same could be said for Elliot’s cousin Yaz, who is reevaluating her life after her divorce. Her relationship with her husband was strained in part because it was an interracial one. Odessa, Elliot’s biological mother, has a particularly poignant arc. While her addiction to cocaine would usually be the end of the story, in Spoonful it’s only the beginning as  Odessa uses her experiences to moderate a forum about substance abuse. Add in a group of  diverse well-rounded supporting characters and you have Water by the Spoonful.

2. Internet conversations can still be dramatic ones.

At first, I couldn’t believe that entire scenes were taking place in Odessa’s internet chat room. But this production of Spoonful deftly handled these scenes, in part by displaying the avatars and usernames of the characters on stage. And with so much of our communication now taking place online, it was a bold and timely move to include the online interactions of the characters.

3. Location, location, location.

I mentioned this in my Stephen Adly Guirgis post, but I love plays that take us somewhere beyond the living room. Spoonful travels to a Subway in Philly, a train station in Japan, a rainforest in Puerto Rico, and more. Seeing all of these places on stage was not only exciting but also allowed characters to go on new and unexpected journeys. I especially liked Madeleine’s quest to find herself in Japan, and Elliot and Yaz’s spreading their aunt’s ashes in El Yunque.

4. So. Much. Heart.

A lot of today’s theatre has to do with aloof-ness and disassociation, whether it be through emotion-less line readings or snarky witticisms. But Water by the Spoonful‘s characters aren’t afraid to care. Yaz is passionate about teaching Coltrane to her students and take care of Elliot, Odessa wants the best for all of her forum members, and Madeleine wants to connect to Clayton in a tangible way. Hudes’ honest writing and the ensemble’s sincere performances create a memorable, heartfelt night of theatre.

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