To Dream, Perchance to Awaken
Box, Window, Door, written by Evelyn Stettin and directed by Angela Grillo, is a beautiful play, a sequence of dreamscapes, which documents tortured souls trying to live and survive beyond their conflicted past and conquer inner demons. The interweaving of dreams and reality alludes to the back-story of the exquisitely mystifying “Mother“ (Susan Tierney), a Holocaust survivor; her character much like Brecht’s The Good Woman of Setzuan. She’s beleaguered and forever haunted by images and memories (skeletal bones, gas chambers) not only in her dreams but the tragic reality and torture she suffered and endured.
Another most dynamic character, daughter Natasha (Adrienne Pearson) finds solace spending time in a coffin; she is the embodiment of her mother present day. Margaret (Julie Garnye) as protagonist, is symbolically sacrificed by her own inner turmoil and circumstances, much akin to the binding of Isaac, son of Abraham. Margaret and Natasha are at one with their mother (as they dream of horrors past, present and future) and their own internal holocaust, with flames and passion burning within.
It’s a true ensemble piece, with every character enmeshed emotionally and stirring music by the talented Susan Joseph, musical director, and sophisticated movement by choreographer Zoe Canner. The final scene in particular is a standout, with the Golem, a figure of darkness, dancing the perilous dance of death in the midst of hope and light.
The theatre is located in a majestic space in an old hotel downtown, The Alexandria — a legend in its own time and a beacon from the past.
In true Hollywood fashion, and quite surreal, a subplot is a film being directed within the play — with all the Jungian references in the dream sequence, complete with masks, costumes and dances of chickens, dogs and red rivers.
The play’s imparting message: “Make the best of what you have, despite your inner turmoil.”
Box, Window, Door runs through March 23 at The Alexandria Hotel located at 501 Spring St. For ticket information, visit www.boxwindowdoor.com