LIVE THEATRE REVIEW - From Cradle To Stage

Featuring three new one-act plays by budding Alberta playwrights, From Cradle to Stage is presented by the Walterdale Playhouse.  The three plays have different themes, but work together for an enjoyable evening of one-acts. 


The first is a staged reading of Rober Zimmer’s Poetry Unbound, a heady verbal exchange between characters who represent abstract nouns such as Theory, Poetry, Academia, and Taxpayers.  Zimmer posits motivations and conflicts between the characters, shedding light on the failings of institutionalizing art.  Gabby Bernard, who portrays Poetry, is outstanding as the “caged bird” of the Ivory Towers.  The play ends with an all-too idealistic overthrow of the art-stultifying institutions, as Poetry returns to the people.  Overall a clever play and fun for the audience.


The second play, Even the Walls Have Eyes, is a brave portrayal of a family that scapegoats the victim of sexual abuse by rallying behind the perpetrator, a beloved patriarch in the family. With a stinging resonance, this play is minimal in its staging as Andrea (Melanie Kerr) breaks through the culture of silence and tells her story to her family, whether they want to listen or not. While an earlier reveal could have given more poignancy to Andrea’s stories, staging the truth-telling of a survivor of assault shows that despite her family’s desire to portray her as “crazy” she is the sanest one of all.


The last play is Hope is Dead by Mike Czuba, which features the unlikely pairing of a suicidal suburban teenager and a mentally ill homeless man.  The dialogue is interesting, especially that of the homeless man whose mental illness has him locked in thought patterns that have him looking for numbers and protecting bridges.  His illness is a prism through which we can see how important human connection is.  He connects with the self-absorbed teenager and she learns to care for herself by caring for him.  The teenager is written a little flatly compared to the homeless man and this play takes some emotional risks that mostly pay off.


Taken together, the three plays compose a pleasing evening of theatre.



more in Theatre Review     |     posted May 20th, 2011 at 2:54pm     

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