Saturday, December 8, 2018

In the Wake—Profile Theatre—SW Portland

           Blind Spots

    This drama is written by Lisa Kron and directed by Josh Hecht (Profile’s Artistic Director).  It is playing at the Artist Reps space, 1515 SW Morrison St., through December 16th.  For more information, go to their site at www.profiletheatre.org

    The above areas mentioned, cannot be seen by ourselves, but often by others.  A good way to relieve yourself of them, is to take Harper Lee’s advice, via Atticus Fitch, when faced with trying to see other perspectives, and that is to get inside another’s person’s shoes and walk around in them a bit.  That way your own, perhaps, narrow point of view, will be expanded.

    We currently have a world at large that is rampant with these “blind spots,” only seeing things from their own perceptions and insisting that everyone should see them the same way…either “my way or the highway,” as the saying goes.  Admittedly, compromising is not an easy road to traverse, but a necessary one for survival nowadays.

    Ellen (Beth Thompson) seems trapped in the Bush Jr. era of this political spectrum.  She is so focused as to what makes sense, and doesn’t, she may be losing focus on what really matters in life.  She has a very accommodating boyfriend, Danny (Chris Murray), who worships the ground she walks on.  His sister, Kayla (Danielle Weathers), and her wife, (Laurie (Alissa Jessup), live in the same tenement building and are good friends.  Danny and Laurie, in particular, have a unique, sparring relationship, to be envied.

    They have a visit over Thanksgiving from Ellen’s best friend, Judy (Jane Bement Geesman), who has been doing missionary work in Africa and has a very different view of the world than Ellen’s.  Soon, Judy’s niece, Tessa (Tamera Lyn), will be staying with Judy, which only makes the relationships among all more tense.  And finally, there is Amy (Jamie M. Rea), a gay former classmate of Ellen’s, and they become lovers.  “Now, the spring is wound up tight…,” perhaps too tight, as things began to unravel…and dramatic changes are inevitable.  And, as one character queries, when does falling feel like flying (or, perhaps, vice versa)?

    Can’t really tell you more, as the dynamics of the roles and dialogue say it so much better.  The acting by the whole team is exceptional, as well Hecht’s direction.  The characters are so well-developed that you feel you are eavesdropping on some intimate conversations.  Rea and Geesman were particular favorites of mine.  But the script, I feel, needs some cutting and updating, as some of the issues of that time are still with us, and could be pulled forward in time, rather than being stuck as a dramatic piece in just one era.

    I recommend this show, especially for the acting!  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.
--DJS

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