The Negative Room Finds Positives

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From l, Barika Croom, Nick Zayas, Kelly Ann Ford, Collin St. Dic, and James Black in “The Negative Room.”

Write Act Repertory’s world premiere production of Tom O’Leary’s The Negative Room features excellent acting and writing combined with whip speed pacing to hilariously satirize the nomenclature and psychobabble of therapy and dysfunction.

The story follows Phil (Nick Zayas), a young urbanite looking for an apology from the Catholic Church for making him believe he was a sinner, seeking to reconnect with his overbearing, critical mother, and searching for validation in his life. Over several weeks, he stumbles across a possible love interest (Kelly Ann Ford), a waiter (Colin St. Dic), a priest (James Black), and a therapist (Barika Croom), all dealing with raging idiosyncrasies and isms of their own.

O’Leary’s script features zippy one-liners and zingers while it also smartly examines human foibles and the courage to believe in oneself.

Co-directors O’Leary and Annie O’Neil keep the pace constantly flying with overlapping dialogue and fine timing, getting the actors to furiously spit out their lines in madcap rhythm.

Zayas does a wonderful job with Phil, combining tense self-absorption and innocent vulnerability. St. Dic possesses easy charm and snappy attitude, while Ford gives a sensitive earnestness to Sheila. Black brings a sonorous voice of God quality to his ironic announcer.

Production work is spot–on, particularly Sergio Escobar’s fine lighting and detailed soundwork.

The Negative Room cheekily examines the world of dysfunction, denial, and disillusionment to find positives in taking risks, forgiving, and enjoying the present.

Write Act Repertory presented the world premiere of The Negative Room at Write Act Theatre located at 6128 Yucca St. in Hollywood. Tickets cost $20 at the door or via www.brownpapertickets.com. For more information, call (323) 469-3113.

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