Review by SEAN CANNONJune 20, 2014 certified reviewer
My overall impression
Watching DOLORES in the Asylum Lab Theatre, is a fitting venue for what is an intimate portrait into two sisters in crisis, one consciously, the other in subconscious. Its thin running time of forty-five minutes, betrays a bulk of content being digested, from start to finish. In the opening minute, we’re thrust right into the crux of the narrative, which doesn’t let up until its bittersweet conclusion.
Both LEAH PATTERSON, and MICHELLE CAMPBELL, provide ample range, and depth to these characters. Commanding a stage for the entire duration, the play hinges not on the narrative, but the characters being portrayed. In lesser hands, this content could have easily been derailed, however, both Leah and Michelle inhabit a believable Meisner-like method in this madness.
Director JENEFFA SOLDATIC deserves praise for hitting the right beats, at the right time. The sisters’ moments of silence, are quite striking, for instance, when folding bedsheets, coming together when they are (emotionally) coming together. It’s little touches like these, seen and unseen, that elevate this more from a great actors’ piece, into a realistic window of a dysfunctional family.
But are they dysfunctional? By the end, these sisters’ roles have nearly reversed, until the final revelation. It shows how similar they really are, deep down, and how small choices in our lives, ripple into our grander futures. Whether or not “we all form the basis of our futures when we’re nine-to-twelve”, as the script says, it’s that small window of time- the small choices we consciously, and subconsciously make- that have both great, or in this case, grave consequences, in our futures. DOLORES is a thoroughly enjoyable production, with strong female characters that feel real, act real, and should be commended to all those involved.
-Sean Patrick Cannon