Tuesday, April 24, 2012
TWO ONE-ACTS (ELEGY FOR A LADY and THREE WOMEN
Fine acting featured in Two One-Acts Plays at Cesear’s Forum
Arthur Miller is considered one of America’s greatest playwrights. He, along with William Inge and Tennessee Williams, are often termed the fathers of American modern theatre.
An east coast liberal, he often is called “the social conscience of America.” He continued to probe social wounds of culture and exposed his personal issues for the sake of his art. He constantly strikes emotional chords as he probes, “Is this the best way to live?.”
His ELEGY FOR A LADY finds a distraught and seemingly grief-stricken man entering a gift store under the pretense of purchasing a present for his dying mistress. The woman has denied him involvement in her suffering and he apparently needs to share his feelings with someone. The owner of the shop encourages him to share his thoughts, thus serving as a surrogate confidante.
The play is filled with ambiguity and leaves the authenticity of the happenings in question. Miller is noted for his meticulous choice of words. Due to the unnatural flow of language in ELEGY FOR A LADY, one has to question whether this is an experience of surrealism rather than journey of realism.
Both Dana Hart as the man and Ursula Cataan as the shop owner are excellent in their presentations. The goings on are well paced and hold the audience’s attention.
THREE WOMEN is a tone poem by Sylvia Plath. Originally written as a radio drama in 1962, it is Plath’s only play. It was written about a year before the poetess died.
The epic traces three different views of pregnancy and childbirth. The traditional birth resulting in a healthy baby, a miscarriage, and a young woman who gives birth, but gives the baby up for adoption. Some of her thoughts must have been quite personal as after giving birth, she later had a miscarriage.
As with any piece of poetry, many of the ideas are abstract and require concentration to grasp Palth’s ideas.
Ursula Cataan, Kristen Levy and Katrina Melanie Walker all give credible performances, making clarity out of the numerous metaphors and motifs.
Capsule Judgement: Cesear’s Forum’s production philosophy centers on making social commentary while presenting experimental theatre. Though not a traditional type of production, the evening of one-acts is a good example of thoughtful theatre.