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Anna St. Hesia Dreams

solo performance · leaky faucet & sons · Ages 15+ · flashing lights · world premiere · one person show · United States of America

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Review by LARA REPKO

June 17, 2019 certified reviewer

What I liked

Jinny is the kind of actor who has this natural aptitude of being cheeky. This is my favorite kind of actor, as cheekiness is something I look for in all theatre that I see. Let me explain: Anna (Jinny’s character) is experiencing a procedure the audience isn’t fully aware of at first. She fools (without her even realizing it) us into thinking that what she’s actually experiencing isn’t a big deal at all. As the play progresses, Anna gets more imaginative and childlike in her story, fooling us even more into thinking that she is merely telling us about a dream within her dream. At the end of the play, however, Anna very casually and eerily mentions what is actually happening to her. The contrast between her cheeky (yes, this is my favorite word), imaginative nature and eerie reality hits home harder and leaves us wondering what else Anna is hiding.
Drew’s writing is equally playful, quick-witted, and sharp. There’s no hand-holding in this show – Drew knows his audience is smart and can keep up.
One of my favorite parts of the design of the show was the props. Keep an eye on the mare shell necklace and the mug Jinny holds halfway through the show – these subtle details add to the playful nature of this show without taking away from the mysterious, mystical quality of the plot.

What I didn't like

The sound cues used were so “on-point” (as the kids say) that I was curious as to how more of them could contribute to the dream-like environment. Perhaps there’s a way of adding more sound but for different scenes, like when the (SPOILER ALERT) dream collapses. It isn’t necessary that there be more sound cues I am simply curious as to how they could add to the dream-like state even more.

My overall impression

Like I said earlier, Drew’s writing is playful, quick-witted, and sharp. He knows his audience is smart and can keep up. Jinny is the perfect match for his writing and she brings to life a young woman who is so entrenched in her avoidance of living that she lives in a dream within a dream. And she doesn’t give the audience mercy either – we are in the dream too, whether we want to be or not. Perhaps this is how it is for Anna, too?

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