Director Strikes It Rich
Lunchtime one-acts at the Shaw Festival can be best be separated into two courses—the easily digestible comedy and the somber heavy drama. While both genres pleasure audiences differently, it’s the specific aftertaste the offerings leave behind that makes the event memorable.
Unanswered questions rain down in ‘Trifles,’ the first instillation of a two-act offering at the Courthouse Theatre. Julian Molnar, Kaylee Harwood, Jeff Irving, Graeme Somerville and Benedict Campbell (seen here) deliver powerful performances getting to the truth.
Laughter is virtually absent from Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and Eugene O’Neil’s A Wife for A Life in the 45-minute serving. The crystalized writing behind the mystery imbedded in both stories is a wake-up call that theatre need not brim with long and drawn out dialogue in its mission to entertain.
The prior offering borrows from a famous Iowa murder case with an opening scene suggesting that something horribly wrong has occurred in the house. Was it an accident? Was it purposeful? The uncertainty lingers as playgoers attempt to connect the few dots that are presented.
A lighter mood dominates the latter presentation where two gold prospectors are hold up in an Arizona cabin. Love’s broken pieces of the past continue to cause discomfort yet friendship proves to heal the wounds that time alone cannot.
It’s interesting to note that a marriage layer surfaces in both narratives that barely go anywhere before their fast conclusions. Despite this, director Meg Roe strikes it rich by seamlessly merging two stories making it almost impossible at first to tell a transition has even taken place.
Review by Jordan Allystair
By Susan Glaspell
May 29 – Oct 12, 2013
Tickets $24.00 – $110.00
Benedict Campbell, Kaylee Harwood
Jeff Irving, Julian Molnar