We meet Karlie and Peter, teenage parents, in the emergency room waiting area. Their daughter Luna is being treated for severe dehydration, a result of neglect due to their recent meth habit. Needless to say, social services gets involved, in the form of case worker Caroline. Despite counting down to retirement, Caroline is someone who really cares about doing what's right for her charges, and is celebrating the graduation out of the system of 18-year-old Lourdes. Caroline is able to place Luna in kinship care, aka with Caroline's mother Cindy, while signing Peter and Karlie up for counseling and rehab to work towards regaining custody of their daughter. It may sound like the ideal temporary solution, except that Karlie hates her mother, and Cindy wants to permanently adopt Luna to save her soul because the end times are coming. Add in Caroline's by-the-books boss Cliff, and Cindy's Pastor Jay who has joined the case for custody, and things get real complicated real fast.
|Kory LaQuess Pullam, Briana Patnode, and Jodi Kellogg|
(photo courtesy of Underdog)
The Southern Theater is always one of my favorite places to see theater, and in this case set designer Leazah Behrens has created a couple of smaller spaces within the cavernous performance space using boxes, perhaps representing the mountains of paperwork, or the transitory nature of the foster kids. The boxes are also functional, hiding props, or moved around to create a new feature. Scenes take place in a couple of areas in this fragile, temporary space nestled inside the vastness.
This play doesn't offer solutions to the many problems it addresses - teen pregnancy, drug abuse, child molestation, religious fanatacism, an overworked system. Except perhaps compassion for all involved, because things are complicated on all sides, and there are no good guys or bad guys. Luna Gale continues through next weekend only, recommended to see what's new and important in #TCTheater.