ensemble theatre · kas productions · United States of America

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June 12, 2015

My overall impression

The three performers are marvelous but as I was expecting a play about three generations of women – grandmother, mother and daughter – it was a disappointment that all three are played by young women. Whether playwright Lee Blessing intended to cast this way is unclear. Still, Sienna Beckman, as the teenage Echo, manages to suggest not only an awkward pre-teen but even a 3 month infant. As the grandmother, Dorothea, Alyson Terwilliger gives a bright portrait of a ditzy 1950’s housewife whose head and brains are way up in the clouds. As the mother, Artie, Kari Swanson captures the anguish of a woman desperately fleeing any emotional connections until forced to capitulate by her only child. Director Miranda Stewart adroitly handles the twisting time lapses that make up the play. The word ELEEMOSYNARY means ‘relating to charity’ and is significant as part of an onstage Spelling Bee Contest and the emotional tug-of-war that haunts the play.
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