5.25.2009

Day 3, part II of III, This Still Night

And the audience drop hits - there's less than 8 of us in the house. Argh. This is from a Toronto-based group, In the Name of Theatre Collective.

This is a hard play. It's conventional in the sense that it's linear narrative, psychological realism. It's unFringey, stereotypically, in that it's Grim. The main character is Ruth, who's got some kind of mental stability issues and has been living in a cabin/house outside of a small community in rural Ontario. She and her younger sister Hannah own the house after their father left it to them and not their mother when he died. Ruth hates her mother, Hannah doesn't, and the mother (not an onstage character) is dying. Hannah works at a factory and her hours have already been cut. Ruth doesn't do anything except manically (or OCD-ly) cut up newspapers and "scrapbook." The third character is Sally, with whom Ruth had been involved at one time. Ruth seems to lay all her issues at the feet of the prejudice against her and Sally. All of the action happens over a single day, when things go from bad (we have to sell the house) to worse (I can't stop myself from killing things).

The performances were all very good - Sally was outstanding. But it's a hard script to get into because Ruth, as the central character and center of the story, is not very likeable. It's true that all of these horrible things have happened, but she rants most of the time, is unwilling to listen to anyone except herself - she knows injustice, she's living with it, and she's not going to give it up. So - good performances in a flawed script?

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