Sunday, April 14, 2019

How To Keep An Alien—Corrib Theatre—SE Portland

               Love Without A Visa

    This clever piece, about love and bureaucracy, is written by Sonya Kelly and directed by Gemma Whelan.  It is playing at the New Expressive Works space, 810 SE Belmont St., through May 5th.  For more information, go to their site at or call 503-389-0579.

    It is said that Love is the most potent element in the universe.  But, like all Positive forces, it needs an antithesis, otherwise we would not recognize the importance of the Positive.  I would vote for Bureaucracy as a good candidate for that position, as that force sucks all the emotional and humanity out of anything Good (look at the mess on our Southern border, as an example).  This personal journey from the author “must give us pause,” as it will restore your faith in the warmth and dignity the human spirit can have, when faced with seemingly impossible odds.  Heaven is all the sweeter, if one has to have trod through Hell to get there!

    This is a very cleverly constructed sojourn, as it is presented, “on the fly,” so to speak.  The Irish author, Sonya, in the guise of the very accomplished actor, Sara Hennessy, will take us on her personal journey to find love.  But this trip is without adornments, as she speaks directly to the audience and only uses a bulletin board and minimal props to chart her progress. 

    She is also more than ably assisted by the Stage Manager (Amy Katrina Bryan), who appears onstage with her, playing other characters and providing crucial props when necessary.  Quite frankly, I was pleased with this approach to this story-telling style, as I have always been impressed with a “black box” theatrical setting.

    As for the tale, Sonya is an actor and is in a terrible play/dance production at an Irish castle, where she meets Kate, another actor in the company.  But Kate, being an Aussie, must return home once her Visa runs out.  Needless to say, they fall hopelessly in love and the remaining story is all the trials and tribulations of staying together on a permanent basis.  Such efforts, including sending a letter, via a paper sandwich sack, through the mail; getting stuck with a grumpy, by-the-book immigration officer; trying to reconcile with in-laws, who may not be as pleased with this union as the pair are; et. al.

    I certainly am not going to reveal the outcome, but I think the story will touch anyone who has been in love…puppy or otherwise.  But, as mention, the style was as compelling as the story for me.  Whelan always gives a fresh approach to story-telling, as with this tale, and constantly invites the audience, through their imagination, to participate in creating, filling out, this world.

    Hennessy is a pro and it shows.  As she flits about the stage, changing from one, seemingly random, thought to another, she builds beautifully toward the fairy tale ending.  Also, I was equally impressed with Bryan, in her many incarnations.  I have often been a believer that, “there are no small parts, only small actors,” and this, once again, proves the point.  Bryan is fully vested in providing the support for Hennessy, concentrating on the tasks at hand, even when having no dialogue.  I especially liked her droll immigration officer, and the song that provided a short interlude in the proceedings.  She is a gem and I hope to see more of her onstage.

    I recommend this show.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.


  1. I want to thank Dr. Emu for getting my lover back to me within 48 hours. When my lover left me i was so tired and frustrated till i search the internet for help and i saw so many good talk about Dr Emu and i decided to give him a try and i contact him and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell for me which i use to get my husband back. If you want to get your lover back contact Dr Emu via email: Dr Emu the great man that is able to bring back lost love 
    Website (
    Contact  +2347012841542 

  2. To know more about Chief Dr Lucky you can visit his website (
     A friend that suffered from Herpes and was cure with the help of this great herbal doctor Chief Lucky so i decided to contact him for help in getting rid of my families genital herpes virus 1/2 which i did and all i was told to provide was just some useful information and some materials used in preparation of the natural cure and that i did and now i am the happiest person on earth because i am writing this testimony of mine with joy and happiness in my heart to the whole world to know that natural remedy is real because i am a living testimony of Chief Lucky traditional herbal cure and i want you all to contact Chief Lucky via his email: or WhatsApp him +2348132777335 am sure he will help you too.