ensemble theatre · kas productions · United States of America

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RENE ANDRE certified reviewer June 09, 2015
While still not being able to quite pronounce the title of this play, I found it to be a fun, entertaining family dramedy with strong, believable performances. It is minimalist in approach, yet successfully conveys the passage of time in the lives of three generations of women: grandmother, mother, daughter. The grandmother is an eccentric character who reminded me of a young 1930's Katherine Hepburn. The mother and daughter were also strong characters in their own right. Eleemosynary explores a quirky, dysfunctional family and how generational rifts can force characters to find their independence and thrive, but also be the source of pain and deep-seeded personal issues. So, in that sense, it is relatable and tugs at the heart strings. If y... full review
TADAO TOMOMATSU certified reviewer June 17, 2015
Eleemosynary I will be honest and say I haven't sat down in a theater to see anything in a Long while. The week to weekend had been a bit rough. And a friend said to check out the Fringe Festival and Eleemosynary.. Well I missed the Friday performance. I'm glad I didn't miss the Sunday one. I wasn't sure what to expect.. but I realized I was in the play, into the story. The characters.. The generations and the trip thru time following three women with their own style of genius. How much was I into the play? The characters the direction it was taking. I lived thru some of that and was having humorous memories and going: ooh yeah I can relate to the.. Yes that Excentric... Memories in full and the fears of.. well *pe... full review
KYLA COATES certified reviewer June 10, 2015
"Eleemosynary" is a beautiful play with a strong female cast! It eloquently shows the complexities of intergenerational family relationships. It explores deep themes while making you laugh along the way. ... full review
NICHOLAS HORMANN certified reviewer June 11, 2015
tagged as: wicked · funny · touching
Director Miranda Stewart has staged the play with eloquent simplicity, cannily keeping the production attuned to the ebb and flow of the playwright’s beautiful language which in the adroit handling of these three skilled actresses fills eighty minutes with wit, sarcasm and surprising sweetness--a bracing evening of swiftly paced ensemble playing marked by grace notes of remembrance, regret and forgiveness. All three actresses land their moments with authority and ease. Ms. Stewart's sure-handed direction shines a bright light on this neglected play about three generations of brilliant, idiosyncratic women.... full review
JOSEPH MCMAHON certified reviewer June 12, 2015
This is a lovely, minimalistic production with strong performances from all three women and worth your time and money to go experience. ... full review
MORNA MURPHY MARTELL certified reviewer June 12, 2015
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 twistin... full review
CHARLES HOFF certified reviewer June 15, 2015
eleemosynary • adjective el·ee·mo·sy·nary \ˌe-li-ˈmä-sə-ˌner-ē, -ˈmō-; -ˈmä-zə-\ • Definition of ELEEMOSYNARY : of, relating to, or supported by charity • Example of ELEEMOSYNARY <he used his vast fortune for establishing and funding a host of eleemosynary institutions> • Origin of ELEEMOSYNARY •Medieval Latin eleemosynarius, from Late Latin eleemosyna alms — more at alms •First Known Use: circa 1616 • Related to ELEEMOSYNARY •Synonyms altruistic, beneficent, benevolent, do-good, charitable, good, humanitarian, philanthropic (also philanthropical) • Antonyms self-centered, self-concerned, selfish And quite an exceptional word for a spelling bee. An interesting introduction to a story about three generation... full review
JENNIFER J. STEWART certified reviewer June 16, 2015
The set is deliberately spare; the emotions are not. Three generations of women are played superbly by three young actresses (Sienna Beckman, Kari Swanson, and Alyson Terwilliger). Deftly directed by Miranda Stewart, ELEEMOSYNARY is a play about their relationships with each other. Each scene switches backwards and forwards in time, and yet it all works. Dorothea, the matriarch, when she is stymied in getting an education, takes refuge in being an eccentric. Artie, who becomes a mother too soon, fights for and gets her education as a scientist, but at a cost. And Echo, raised primarily by her grandmother, is a fighter, and a champion speller. The play (and the word play too) stays with you, as you wonder what lies ahead for th... full review
JENNIFER KNIGHTON certified reviewer June 20, 2015
I went in not knowing what to expect. I know one of the actresses, I had heard reviews, but nothing could really spoil this performance. The writing was good, the acting was great. I recommend seeing it for yourself - you'll appreciate it. ... full review
GRAYDON SCHLICHTER certified reviewer June 23, 2015
Sometimes you walk blind into a show, and just have to hope that you enjoy it. If only it turned out this well for me every time. El (for short) is a marvelous and engaging story of three extraordinary women that grabs you in the first moment and simply doesn't let go until the end. For although these women are extraordinary (and extraordinarily well-played by the trio of actresses that make up the cast) their struggles are very relatable. Not everyone has a spiritualist mother, but everyone has a relative that is a complicated blend of embarrassing and ebullient. Most of us enjoy(ed) a challenging relationship with our parents or children (or both), just as these women do. And so it is easy to join them through their trials and tri... full review