Humanity six-pack

Certain Souls

By Ken Javie
WorkShop Theater Company
Equity showcase (closed)
Review by Elias Stimac

Playwright Ken Javie has searched his soul and come up with six Certain Souls designed to amuse, intrigue, enlighten, and ultimately move.

Structured as solo pieces, each work was performed and directed by a winning team of talented collaborators. Acts of Redemption was powerfully directed by Steven Petrillo (who also served as program director) and acted by Charles Turner. As a homeless man who disconcertingly entered the theatre from the back door and began to spin his tale, Turner put a sympathetic yet strong face on the faceless unfortunates in society, such as former office workers who've lost their loved ones -- and their will to live.

Matt Walker also made an unsettling entrance -- as a drunken husband spouting out a fractured confession to his wife's bedroom window in Timberwood Drive. Too bad he's on the wrong street. Credit Walker's comic timing and director Manfred Bormann's nuanced guidance for the successful balance of humor and heart instilled in Javie's monolog.

Never Smile, Never Was found Jenny Greeman as a pretentious princess on the Upper East Side, situated on a familiar bar stool. Her attempts to connect with a young man in the bar were brazen but bittersweet. David Pincus guided the piece to a touching conclusion.

Packing up her suitcase, a widow emotionally recalls the good old days in Taking Care. Gerrianne Raphael played the reflective woman, and Danielle Zeghbib directed the optimistic piece, and the two worked together to set a tone of quiet nobility and grace.

The Brightest Light provided some of the brightest laughs on the bill. A newspaper designer who has just quit his job recalls a chance encounter with a woman he passes on the street. The tale is filled with alternate moments of melancholy and mirth, and grabbed viewers with its unpredictable ending. Richard Kent Green portrayed the down-to-earth, likable loner, and conspired with clever director John Camera to keep audience members guessing about the outcome of the scene.

Luck of the Draw was the last play of the night, with Javie taking a "what if?" look at a disillusioned married woman who thinks she may hold a winning lottery ticket. Richard Kent Green took on the directorial reins, working with actress Nicole Taylor to create a comically sweet but short-lived fantasy escape for the main character.

Multi-talented Richard Kent Green did a fine job with his lighting design. The uncredited song selections provided fitting musical interludes between pieces.

Box Score:

Writing: 2
Directing: 2
Acting: 2
Sets: 1
Costumes: 1
Lighting/Sound: 1

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Copyright 2003 Elias Stimac