by Jack Tucker of The Contra
Costa Times, published October 5, 2001
Review by Jack Tucker for the Contra Costa Times
October 5, 2001
In a playwright's
note to her original play, "Approach," Susan Wiegand used
the phrase "fractured, kaleidoscope-like." Although she was
applying the words to herself as reflected in the play's four characters,
the phrase is an apt description of the play as well.
As staged, directed,
and acted by Shotgun Players, "Approach" is a stunningly beautiful
piece of work.
set -- towering, pastel-mottled slabs, draped from above in a corner
of Berkeley's Eighth Studio Theatre -- establishes a calming, timeless
and undefined place for the play to unfold.
Katie Bales Frassinelli's
direction is confident and fluid throughout this unbroken 85-minute
Michael and Katie
were married this summer and his scenic design could not be a more loving
gift for his bride.
And the actors --
Mary Eaton Fairfield as simply woman; Aaron Lucich (man); Brent Rosenbaum
(boy), and Marin Van Young (girl) -- move through the text of this search
for love and trust with easy grace and impeccable diction, oscillating
between angst and ecstasy.
So much for the
kaleidoscopic aspect of "Approach."
Fractured -- and
the word is not used in a pejorative sense -- is perhaps what Wiegand
aimed to achieve, for life is like that, splintered and full of shards,
some of which have sharp edges that can cut.
This is a work of
internal dialogue, musing, rambling, inevitably self-indulgent -- given
the playwright's own description of the process: "There was never
a concept nor even a desire to write a play. ... The play emerged one
night suddenly as text in the form of dialogue." As such, "Approach"
will probably inspire as many interpretations as audience members it
attracts to this well-staged, but elusive work.
through Saturdays at 8 p.m. through Oct. 27 at 2525 Eighth St., Berkeley.
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