Monday, October 23, 2023

SPIdER—Young Professionals Company—NE Portland


“Oh, What A Web We Weave”

    The Y/P Company of the Oregon Children’s Theatre presents this topical drama of our times, by Madeleine Adriance and directed by Matthew B. Zrebski.  It is playing at the Curious Comedy Annex Theater (parking in the rear and on the street), 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., through November5th(for more information on the play and tickets, go to their website at or call 503-228-9571.

    Picture, if you will, a Creation, a world, left to it own devices, to reinvent itself at will, over and over again, into endless strands of a web.  And, let’s say circumstances, allowed this kinetic web to pause in its meanderings by, let’s say, a Virus, forcing the creatures to take a hard look at themselves.  And from that portrait, many tales erupt, some for good, some not…a cautionary tale at best. With  Social Media as its “god,” with a “Web” to connect the dots.

    These mini-stories are a microcosm of our world, of course, stories of isolation/loneliness; bravery and love; death and new life; hesitant love with a dream; loss and pain; hope and despair, et. al. and, perhaps, a “rage at the dying of the light. ”Enacted by an ensemble of very talented young people:  Aidan Colvin, Dylan Mojo, Elijah Tinker, Ava Anderson, Olivia Chesire, and Emma Lombard, embodying about a dozen plus characters.

    The events, intriguing as they are, can be a bit confusing, trying to keep straight.  But they do hit home, I’m sure, at some junction, with everyone in the audience.  One must ask, how is the author, Adriance, connect with all these varied stories, as she has certainly honed in on some basic truths of human nature and “attention must be paid.”  Bravo!  As well as to the director, Zrebski, a veteran of directing at Y/P, who has kept the staging to a bare minimum to flesh out the story and challenge the actors to fill it with their talent!

    This is not for everyone (ages 14 and up recommended) but this play, as with all the productions of Y/P (Artistic Director, Dani Baldwin), the youth are given a broad canvas to explore, vent, evolve and grow in this rapidly moving transition to adulthood.  They have a safe haven, a repertory period, to decide their own paths for the future.  If you want to see truths of who our young people of toady are, and what they’re going through, look no further than Baldwin and her intrepid band of Youth, demanding to be heard.  It doesn’t get any better than this, folks!  Bravo!

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


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