No Looking Back… in “Moving On,” EST/LA’s one act plays @ Atwater Village Theatre

‘Movin’ On,’ ‘Let it Go,’ ‘Life Goes On,’ many a song and poem has been written on said topic. Now a series of innovative, poignant one act plays are presented by Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST/LA) at the Atwater Village Theatre. Each one takes the sensitive theme of love and loss and ‘this too shall pass,’ with dialogue so resonant and relevant to today’s audience, bringing tears of both joy and sorrow. Each of these five winning one acts tell of the lives of disparate, disaffiliated individuals, yearning for connection and a path back.
Act 1: “Rock Logic,” written by Sophia Lewis and directed by Katie Lindsay is a female driven narrative of a young woman Sammy (Kait Schuster) in grief over losing her mother. Taylor (Saliha Muttalib) is the loyal friend, trying to help this damsel in distress and navigate her through her mourning. It very succinctly delves into Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ stages of mourning, with acceptance being the ultimate goal.
Act 2: Smiling Cat Candy Heart, written by Jennie Webb and directed by June Carryl, tells of passive/aggressive custody battles and visitations between a separated couple; and the unexpected twists and turns that befall them. It is impeccably performed by Juliette Allison Bailey; Julianna Riley (daughter); Christopher Wood (father); and Lauren Campedelli; Desiree Mee Jung (mother). Set at the usual drop off/pick up, a fast ‘Movin’ On,’ ‘Let it Go,’ ‘Life Goes On,’ many a song and poem has been written on said topic. Now a series of innovative, poignant one act plays are presented by Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST/LA) at the Atwater Village Theatre. Each one takes the sensitive theme of love and loss and ‘this too shall pass,’ with dialogue so resonant and relevant to today’s audience, bringing tears of both joy and sorrow. Each of these five winning one acts tell of the lives of disparate, disaffiliated individuals, yearning for connection and a path back.
Act 1: “Rock Logic,” written by Sophia Lewis and directed by Katie Lindsay is a female driven narrative of a young woman Sammy (Kait Schuster) in grief over losing her mother. Taylor (Saliha Muttalib) is the loyal friend, trying to help this damsel in distress and navigate her through her mourning. It very succinctly delves into Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ stages of mourning, with acceptance being the ultimate goal.
Act 2: Smiling Cat Candy Heart, written by Jennie Webb and directed by June Carryl, tells of passive/aggressive custody battles and visitations between a separated couple; and the unexpected twists and turns that befall them. It is impeccably performed by Juliette Allison Bailey; Julianna Riley (daughter); Christopher Wood (father); and Lauren Campedelli; Desiree Mee Jung (mother). Set at the usual drop off/pick up, a fast food restaurant, each actor uses a full gamete of emotions as the daughter, so linked up with the internet, is only able to communicate using emojis. She’s truly caught in a tug of war, feeling like the rope itself.
Act 3: The Cold Place, written by Ashley Rose Wellman and directed by Christopher James Raymond, is yet another case of two lonely hearts Robin and Daniel (Lizzie Peet; Brenda Varda and Wes McGee) seeking companionship with a secret rendezvous that turns out to have an ironic surprise a la O’Henry. Hoping to discover each other as a soulmate in a more intimate way, life literally happens as they’re making other plans.
Act 4: In Possible Deranged Lunatic, written by Christine Hamilton-Schmidt and directed by William Charlton, life seems to imitate art, as Jeanette (Sarah Brooke) and Olivia (Poonam Basu) are listening to a startling true crime podcast. Quite foreboding to the next scene, enters Peter (Michael James Bell), a stranger at the door, further terrifying the two women.
Act 5: Signing Off, written by Ken Levine and directed by Tony Pasqualini, tells of a middle aged late night talk show host, Teddy Holt (Nick Ullett; Michael C. Mahon), coerced into retirement, before he had hoped to, meeting his young replacement, Josh Barnes (Clayton Ferris). A telling commentary on today’s world of ageism in show biz.

Each of these acts so vividly portray heartbreak; transitions; and life itself, not always turning out the way one expects. Each vignette reveals the ‘who, what, when, why, and how’ of shock, memory, loss and love, yet with a glimmer of hope for future encounters.

Through May 26th
Atwater Village Theatre
3269 Casitas Avenue

http://www.estlosangeles.org

food restaurant, each actor uses a full gamete of emotions as the daughter, so linked up with the internet, is only able to communicate using emojis. She’s truly caught in a tug of war, feeling like the rope itself.
Act 3: The Cold Place, written by Ashley Rose Wellman and directed by Christopher James Raymond, is yet another case of two lonely hearts Robin and Daniel (Lizzie Peet; Brenda Varda and Wes McGee) seeking companionship with a secret rendezvous that turns out to have an ironic surprise a la O’Henry. Hoping to discover each other as a soulmate in a more intimate way, life literally happens as they’re making other plans.
Act 4: In Possible Deranged Lunatic, written by Christine Hamilton-Schmidt and directed by William Charlton, life seems to imitate art, as Jeanette (Sarah Brooke) and Olivia (Poonam Basu) are listening to a startling true crime podcast. Quite foreboding to the next scene, enters Peter (Michael James Bell), a stranger at the door, further terrifying the two women.
Act 5: Signing Off, written by Ken Levine and directed by Tony Pasqualini, tells of a middle aged late night talk show host, Teddy Holt (Nick Ullett; Michael C. Mahon), coerced into retirement, before he had hoped to, meeting his young replacement, Josh Barnes (Clayton Ferris). A telling commentary on today’s world of ageism in show biz.

Each of these acts so vividly portray heartbreak; transitions; and life itself, not always turning out the way one expects. Each vignette reveals the ‘who, what, when, why, and how’ of shock, memory, loss and love, yet with a glimmer of hope for future encounters.

Through May 26th
Atwater Village Theatre
3269 Casitas Avenue

http://www.estlosangeles.org

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About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at www.examiner.com and www.tolucantimes.com my email is bonniedeb13@hotmail.com
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