FOUNDRY THEATER Presents
Written by Casey Llewellyn
Directed by Dustin Wills
At HERE Theater till Feb 20
REVIEWED by BINA SHARIF
O, EARTH is a Surrealistic riff on, Thornton Wilder's "Our Town."
The set has a little mountain of real dirt on one side and a solitary ladder on the other.
The floor of the whole stage is also covered with dusty dirt.
The lights are pretty haunting and ghostly.
We encounter a man with a shovel presumably, Wilder (Martin Moran) digging into the mound
looking for some lost object, (Time ) perhaps? The play tries to cover the time from 20th Century
to 21st Century and the cultural changes which took place in American life.
Then we encounters a stage manager (Donnetta Lavinia Grays) Avery funny black actress narrates for us the story of white folks in that town while she herself feels invisible moving the ladder from one side of the stage to the other.
There is also a love story taking place between Emily (Kristen Sieh) a young woman who is un-satisfied with her life in this town where according to her nothing is happening and nothing is there to hold onto. She has a boyfriend, George (Jess Barbagallo) who is a transgender and loves baseball as well as Emily. We also meet Simon Stimson, (Martin Moran) a closeted gay man who drinks a lot to find comfort in his loneliness.
All these characters are very familiar from the play, "Our Town" and then suddenly the play, O, Earth
changes into the present time where we are watching TV and Ellen DeGeneres (Moe Angelos) appears. Her wife Portia de Rossi (Emily Davis) is also there first in the background complaining to Ellen that she feels very lonely and then in her actual kitchen having wine with
Emily who by now must have left her isolated town as well as her transgender boyfriend George behind.
The play changes its course from this moment on and becomes more like a TV talk show where
the ghosts of Marsha P. Johnson (Julienne Brown) and Sylvia Rivera (Cecilia Gentili) EARLY TRANSGENDER ACTIVISTS appear and complain about not being properly represented at the moment. The play refers to the effect that the gay marriage being legal right now is not good enough
and other issues such as transgender should be paid more attention.
At this time the play scatters and becomes less engrossing and sounds like a political protest
and its dramatic tension withers but some of the earlier elements are very effective.
The set is fantastic, the lights are moody and haunting, the actors do a good job, I particularly
liked Emily Davis who played Portia de Rossi staring into the void and drinking.
Donnetta Lavinia Grays as the stage manager was also very effective.