The Birthing Pit

ensemble theatre · a gothic romance · Ages 18+ · flashing lights · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by ALLISON LEE
June 10, 2017

What I liked

Most of us would be daunted by the writing of an American Gothic piece; I myself would be nervous about constructing dialogue that reads as stilted and anachronistic, paralyzed by modern cadence and diction. Writer William Meyer, however, has a sure-footed and easy grasp of crafting discourse that comes across as timely yet natural. His talent and confidence also extends to his direction as he elicits strong and assured performances from actors, Chambers and Kazan. Despite the bare bones stage, minimalist lighting and sound design, nominal costumes and props, this play feels quite cinematic and is ambitious in its scope.

What I didn't like

I didn’t anticipate some of the plot points, a melding of devices from the American Gothic novel and from the genre flick. That being said, we were intrigued by the play the whole time, and of course, we wanted to know how the journey ended.

My overall impression

If you’re in search of a well-told story that speaks to the macabre, sexual repression, ghosts a la Nathaniel Hawthorne short stories and period horror films, all wrapped up in the forging of the New World via the colonies, THE BIRTHING PIT is the Hollywood Fringe Festival play that you should attend.

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