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When Skies Are Gray

immersive theatre · the visceral city project · Ages 18+ · world premiere · United States of America

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ANDY JONES-LIANG certified reviewer June 13, 2018
This was my first experience with immersive theatre, and what a profound first experience this was. Ashley has created a space for the audience to work through the grieving process alongside the mother & daughter characters, and to reflect on how we work through grief in our own lives. This was an unflinching look at the slow, arduous process of losing a loved one, and while it was uncomfortable, it was also done with so much tenderness and respect. We were in tears at the end. When the lights came up, there was a moment where the audience stayed seated, taking that moment to process in silence. We looked at each other as if to say, "What now?" It was that sort of effect, that contemplation on how we sit within grief, how we move on from it ... full review
MARK HEIN certified reviewer June 04, 2018
tagged as: unique · powerful · spare · harrowing · gentle
In a brief hour in this small room, Steed’s artwork takes us far, on journeys deep into our own lives — our fiercest loves and losses, our unspoken fears, our regrets. Ghosts fill the space, charging the air with emotion and meaning. We are fortunate to have this “professional make believer” (as Steed describes herself) making her art in our city. And fortunate that she can find such fine collaborators. An experience like no other at Fringe. Or anywhere.... full review
KATIE LINDSAY certified reviewer June 06, 2018
Ashley has created a gorgeous performance piece about the physical aspects of dying and grief. I was incredibly moved by the performances, especially by Melissa Randel's portrayal of the mother. Ashley uses the ritual of live performance to invite us into her grieving process. The use of real recordings and the knowledge that the performance is based on Ashley's experience makes the intimacy feel real, and not forced. I feel honored to have been trusted with such a profound moment in her life. It moved me to think about my own experiences with death and hospice, an experience I often want to bury but that was cathartic to reconnect to. ... full review
KAT PRIMEAU certified reviewer June 09, 2018
tagged as: amazing · Beautiful · cathartic · exemplary · Must See
One of the best shows I've seen in 9 years at Hollywood Fringe, and a Top 10 Theatrical Experience of my lifetime, for sure. Steed could teach a masterclass in making the personal universal. This show embraces the theatrical medium at its highest potential, creating a truly visceral, cathartic, and invigorating experience. I wish more creators could witness and be inspired by the piece, and hope they find a supportive home for an extended run beyond the festival. ... full review
DEBRIANNA MANSINI certified reviewer June 10, 2018
a loving tribute to a mom's passing, something we will all experience in one way or another. ... full review
LUCY GILLESPIE certified reviewer June 11, 2018
tagged as: poignant · bittersweet · family · Well Crafted
The poignancy and urgency of this harrowing immersive piece hit hardest in the most mundane moments: monotonous, clinical voicemails, funeral arrangements, pudding, walks, pain relief. Less of a "production" and more of a reminder that love and life is a string of tiny, meaningless moments; and that those who take care of you--friends, family, nurses, coincidental bystanders--are your people to hold close. ... full review

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