2017 Bill & Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival Part 2 April 29, 2017 Review by Shelli Park Welcome to the second week of great regional playwriting. There are two plays; a one-act and a full length play. The format is simple with an opportunity provided at the end for constructive feedback with the writer and director.
Winter People By Devin Rodger Directed by Tabitha AngierWinter People is my favorite play of the four plays presented. The writing and the acting were top notch, as was the direction by Tabitha Agier. I was both taken outside of myself, and within. This is a difficult feat to achieve in writing and Devin Rodgerâ€™s effort is a success. Jane (Cara Hazzard) and Will (Josh Kibbey) are two people who are universes apart, yet, are as close as two people can be. We are taken on a roller coaster ride as truth emerges from a convoluted narrative. Life is messy and each is guilty. Hazzard and Kibbey are wonderful. The dialogue is fast-paced and passionate. They are able to maintain the energy needed to sustain the vibrancy of the encounter without overacting. Hazzard creates a woman desperately defending her peace of mind. She is distracted, afraid, impatient, but her manner slowly evolves over the course of the story in a believable way. Kibbey is also desperate, but he seeks a truth which has evaded him for years. He wants his love back. He is confused, hurt and a different man than he was before. Kibbey makes it easy to have sympathy for his character. Winter People is a puzzle which slowly unravels and is carefully rewoven from the broken pieces. We are left with the sweetness of absolution, a little redemption and the possibility that we can experience a paradigm shift strong enough to establish a new reality.
The Law of the Sea Written by D. Richard Tucker Directed by Rochelle FlynnThere are moments when we are presented with a decision which alters our course forever. And, in life, there are truths. The truth may be enlightening, or it may weigh heavy. The Law of the Sea is a story of truth which weighs heavy on a group of sailors. It is a simple tale, and while the truth is a difficult one, the play moves effortlessly thanks to the direction of Rochelle Flynn. The play takes place in the late 1800â€™s/early 1900â€™s. As mentioned in my review of the first two plays in the festival, the costume design by Tucker Oâ€™Connor, is perfect. The set design (Maggie Larrick) is also lovely. Each piece of furniture and its placement creates just the right mood. There are three stand-out actors in the The Law of the Sea. They ground the play with their ability to embody their characters and the emotions developed through their experience, as told. The wife of a dead sailor is coming to New York City to collect her husbandâ€™s wages and to pursue an intuition. Audrey Herold plays the role of the widow, Elizabeth Irving. Everything about Heroldâ€™s voice and body language is excellent. Herold balances her characterâ€™s diverse emotions with aplomb. At times, a bit anxious, but also full of confidence in her intuition. A lovely female character. Evan Tucker plays one of three sailors, Fergus Hays. He is the one chosen to speak with the widow. Hays is the most mature of the three, as a character, and Tucker is the most mature as an actor. He was a real pleasure to watch. Hays is an honest man, and wants to do the right things. Peter Cook ties everything together playing two important support roles, George Jenkins, a barkeep, keeping the sailors whistles wet, and Reverend Cole, a sexist (in a way that was standard fare for the time period), but a good, man who helps bring closure to the life of the widow, Elizabeth Irving. He played both roles well, and with enough differentiation that I didnâ€™t notice they were one and the same until almost the end. The Law of the Sea is a pleasant play to experience, despite dealing with difficult themes. It rounds out a successful Playwrights Festival. Endulge!! PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE/TICKETS Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.:
- Sunday, April 30, 20172:00 pm â€“Â Purchase
- Friday, May 5, 20177:30 pm â€“Â Purchase
- Saturday, May 6, 20177:30 pm â€“Â Purchase
- Sunday, May 7, 20172:00 pm â€“Â Purchase