Last year's incredible four-person cast (Audrey Park, Mikell Sapp, Ricardo Vázquez, and Tracey Maloney) returns, each of them so versatile as they create very different characters in these very different stories in a short amount of time. DJ Chamun also returns to keep us entertained before the show and between each play, with an interesting selection of songs. New this year is director Noël Raymond, clearly leading us through each story and finding a connection between them. All stories play out on a nearly bare stage, with that fractured red and blue map of the country on the floor. Minimal set pieces and costume changes place us in new worlds in a matter of minutes, with a little help from the imagination (environmental design by Kellie Larson, costume design by Amber Brown).
Here's a short description of each play:
The Journalist's Creed: (Actual) Emails from a (Brief) Career in News by Jessica Huang
Just what the title says, but somehow way more interesting. Through these (actual) emails we hear how the playwright's enthusiasm for journalism slowly faded as she dealt with the practicalities of working in journalism in today's world.
Sven, Ole, & the Armageddon Myth by Stacey Rose
Four co-workers gather on what might be the last night before the end of the world, and things get heated as inhibitions are lowered in the face of possible death. (And yes, Sven and Ole jokes!)
Wild Creatures by Tim J. Lord
A fantastical story about a creature who lives in the woods, told from various perspectives so that we're not quite sure what's real and what's not.
Mt. Rushmore by Christina M. Ham
Two couples travel to Mt. Rushmore, some reluctantly, some enthusiastically, and some hard truths come out, both personal and political.
Breathe by Andrew Rosendorf
A woman who is out hiking (and maybe hunting) in the woods in Minnesota discovers a dying polar bear, with whom she has a conversation about life, love, and loss.
The Great Divide II plays for two short weeks only (through March 25). There's no bashing of anyone; these are plays that anyone and everyone could and should see as a catalyst for thought and conversation about these very timely issues. I hope that Pillsbury House continues this series until this great divide is healed, because responding immediately to what is happening right now is one of the most valuable services theaters can offer to the world.
|Tracey Maloney and Audrey Park (photo by George Byron Griffiths Photography)|