The Square Root of Wonderful is one of only two plays written by Southern Gothic writer Carson McCullers and the only one written directly for the stage. The Collaborative Artists Ensemble is presenting this hidden gem currently staging at the Raven. At points, McCullers’ words are thoughtful and beautiful and somewhat autobiographical.
In The Square Root of Wonderful, Mollie, a woman twice-divorced from the same man, raises her teenage son on an apple farm not far from New York City, yet the play still has a Southern feel in tone. John, who is an architect and Mollie’s tenant, has fallen in love with her at first sight.
But her abusive ex-husband Phillip, just released from a sanitarium, wants to move back in and recover his relationship with the family, which also includes his mother and sister. Molly retains an attraction to Phillip whom she met as a teen, and yet she still yearns for John and greater stability for her son.
The play is conducted in three acts on a delightful set, and is directed by Steve Jarrard who navigates a well cast ensemble of actors. Cast members are Sean Eaton, John Holloway, Randal Miles, Isabel Rogers, Meg Wallace, Helen Wilson, and Pamela Wylie. Wilson did an especially nice turn as Phillip’s domineering mother and Wallace as Mollie marks her character’s vulnerability yet growing strengths.
The Square Root of Wonderful plays at the Raven Playhouse located at 5233 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood till May 27. It plays on Fridays & Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 7 p.m.
Admission is $20. Students and seniors $10 (use promo code GOOD). For reservations, call (323) 860-6569. For online ticketing, visit www.Plays411.com/squareroot.