[main] [buy/reserve tickets] [cast and crew] [press release] [photos] [reviews]

An Experience with God's Ear

David Hill
June 9, 2010, 10:56pm
The Skeptician: Communiques from the Flat Earth Collective

This evening I saw The Shotgun Players perform God’s Ear at the Ashby Stage, and it was incredible. Set against an unchanging backdrop that calls to mind something like a large ice cave, the play tells a story we’ve experienced many times before, in drama, in literature, certainly in movies: A married couple struggles in their grief over the death of their son, struggles to make sense of the unfairness of it, what fault they might find in themselves, how to maintain their relationship in the aftermath of such a loss. But it quickly becomes apparent that this story, unfolding on this stage, by the very particularness of its details and its structure, is not familiar at all, just as any story will always be new and unfamiliar if it is told this honestly.

Many characters visit the stage: the couple’s inquisitive and energetic still-living daughter; a “tooth fairy”; a woman with whom the oft-traveling husband may be having an affair; a walking, talking GI Joe, a kind of reincarnation of one of their son’s toys; and others, as well. These figures come and go in flurries that challenge us to find distinction between dream and reality, until we give ourselves over to the world so masterfully woven into life on the stage.

The acting is stellar, particularly Beth Wilmurt in the role of the grieving mother, and Zehra Berkman as the husband’s on-the-road love/sex/diversion interest. And the dialogue is energetically dizzying, often circling back on itself in repetition in order to move forward, occasionally incorporating litanies of clichés as if to self-consciously expose their emptiness, as well as their inevitability in arising at such times of grief. And there, at the center of all the wonderful language and humor, is unmistakable grief. It’s intense. It’s real. And it never leaves the air.

Go see this play if you can. But be sure to reserve your seat. Even on a Wednesday night the show was sold out. Good word is getting around about this gem.


feedback central

We've finally figured out a way for folks to share comments about their experience with the rest of our community. You probably know this already but please consider the following before lettin' it fly:

* Don't be mean. 
* Don't write words you wouldn't say in front of your grandma or my daughters.
* Don't go promoting outside causes.

Sound fair? Good. Now grab that keyboard and break it down.


  Shotgun Players | 1901 Ashby Avenue | Berkeley, CA 94703 | 510-841-6500