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Paper Trails

ensemble theatre · off the page productions · Ages 13+ · world premiere · 30 mins · United States of America

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Review by BRETT MOORE

June 15, 2019 certified reviewer

What I liked

“Eguchi” was the highlight of the show for me. The monologue was so intensely personal and offered such tremendous background that, in the context of everything, it made me cry. It was crushingly heartfelt, and Newman’s sincerity could have convinced me she wrote it herself.

Helen Burak’s “Dear Diary” is a critically important and relatable piece. It’s light hearted, but really brings to light the decision process that can influence one’s choice to come out, and highlights the internal conflict of such a realization. Burak being part of the scene was an added bonus, and Andrea Leffingwell does a marvelous job as her younger foil.

What I didn't like

“Snow” was well-written, and an important examination of how our work affects our reality and identity, but felt out of step with the other pieces, and maybe should not be the anchor of this show. The other pieces just felt more personal in examination, and more far-reaching on an individual consequential level, and while Snow was even well-acted by Weatherup and Dvorak, the tone felt out of step with the other two segments, which offered close and critical examinations of the deepest and most basic ways we define ourselves in our family and the people we love.

My overall impression

This was a brilliant and mostly touching trio of plays about identity and how one comes to terms with their own sense of it. The performances are tight and compelling, and the writing excellent. One of the scenes felt not quite in sync with the other two, but was well-performed and directed all the same. Amanda Noriko Newman’s moving performance of “Eguchi”, brilliantly penned by Isabelle Moreau, is a particularly riveting and heartbreaking standout.

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