Reborning: A Theatrical Review
In life there are a number of issues that we all must find a way to endure and grow from. In this provocative psychological thriller the issues of child abandonment, child abuse, artistic impressionism, loss of a child, drug and alcohol abuse, mental instability, emotional wounding, and difficulty with intimacy in relationships. This relatively short production is jam packed with all of this as well as some overwhelmingly powerful acting. The entire team that has created this amazing program is to be complemented for a solid dedication to the power of prominent theatrical production and the respect mandated for such a powerful work of art. Set in Queens, New York, this production by Zayd Dohrm and directed by Oanh Nguyen offers scenic and costume design by Bruce Goodrich, Lighting by Brian S. Shevelenko, Sound by Ryan Brodkin, Video Design by Matthew Schleicher, and stage management by Courtny Greenough and Nicole Salimbeni.
The cast, all truly exceptional and totally devoted to their character include Jennifer Ruckman portraying the leading role of Kelly with such dedication and conviction that the audience believes every moment that she truly is the character, not just portraying the role. Casey Long portrays Daizy, the artist with a strange twist in his style of design for the purpose of making a living, and a love and honor for Kelly that and all that she is going through that keeps the audience continuously focused on the dedication of his performance. Finally Karen Webster, who brilliantly portrays Emily, a woman who has lost her child and is attempting to cope with the loss in an ever so conspicuous manner, is able to connect with the audience in ways that keep all involved in the story throughout. Together, this awesome trio of performers causes the audience to find themselves completely enthralled with the power and dedication of this program, and do so in such a manner as to keep the audience on the edge of their seats from beginning to end.
The story basically revolves around the reality that there are many in this world that have lost a child to some horrific reality, and need to find a way to deal with this overwhelming loss. There are highly skilled artists who make dolls in a very life-like manner that help these wounded persons deal with their tragic loss. To some this may seem strange or even extreme. To others, those who know the pain of this kind of loss, this is more than understandable. Every person who has dealt with such a horror in their lives must find their own way to deal with their loss. There are some that are able to do this with counseling and support groups alone, but these persons are few and far between. This amazing style of art can offer healing, counseling, comfort, and for a time at least, a substitutionary replacement to actually hold. The ability to touch that which can no longer be touched, no longer accept and return love, no longer hear our voices and respond with their own. This heart-wrenching reality of life is something that few seem willing to deal with, but in this case playwright Dohrm has found a way to mix so many highly difficult circumstances with just enough reality to haunt the viewer, and just enough comedic relief to ease the delivery of all the issues involved. This is a brilliant work to say the least.
No masterful work of art can come to life without a completely dedicated group of people who are willing to struggle with the realities of the work, grapple with the psychology of the script, dedicate themselves to the brutal honesty of the message, and find within themselves the ability to deliver the art in a fashion that brings it to life for the viewer. The Chance Theater Group has a reputation of taking on edgy and difficult productions that force their audience to deal with the more difficult and seldom talked about issues of our world. They have a dedication to making each piece of art that they perform live up to my own personal theatrical motto: that true theater should lift us to the heavens, carry us to the depths, and change our perspective of the world around us as a result of the journey. For those who are willing to allow good theater to do something more than just entertain them, which this production definitely does, then it must be stated that if you miss this production and the powerful dedication that brought it to life, you have chosen to miss something that will move you in ways that few other productions can. For those who find themselves hiding their true selves from the world around them so as to never allow others to know the truth about their own confusion and inner turmoil, this production will in many ways be freeing and liberating, it is truly a must see.
The multi-award winning team of the Chance Theatre Company invites you to join them for this powerful production Thursday, Friday, or Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, Saturdays at 3:00 PM, or Sundays at 2:00 PM for just $35.00 per seat. The Chance Theatre is located at 5552 E. La Palma Ave. in Anaheim Hills, CA 92807, and tickets can be purchased by calling 714-777-3033 or by logging onto the internet at www.chancetheatre.com. For student, senior, and group discounts, call 714-868-6849. Please be aware that Reborning does contain adult language, themes, and situations, but all done in such a fashion as to only add to the power of the production over all. Make your reservations today, as the show only plays through May 20, 2012. Enjoy!
The California Theatre Critic – Yahoo Online