Breaking out of the cocoon


By Marcia Haufrecht
Directed by Michael Halliday and Marcia Haufrecht
The Common Basis Theatre
Non-union production (closed)
Review by Andrès J. Wrath

The thread of these three one-act plays is young women coming to terms with their own prisons: whether with their mothers inThe Hallway and Ma, or with their relationships in Eve. The evening offered excellent acting, writing, and directing.

In The Hallway Lily (Daniella Ianonne) stumbles into her Upper West Side apartment in Manhattan at 3 a.m. in the morning and is greeted by her mother (Barbara English), who is over-protective and a little insane. The play seemed a little thin and on the sketchy side - but what a sketch. As directed by Ms. Haufrecht, both Lily and Mother were desperate creatures so in need of something to fill the void in their lives that their attempts to make contact were compelling.

The mother-daughter bond is more fully realized in Ma. The character of the daughter (Kristin Smith) asks her Ma (Marcia Haufrecht) advice on relationships. She hasn't told Ma that she already lives with a man. Ma at first is unwilling to discuss relationships and sex but soon opens up to her daughter. As directed by Michael Halliday, both Ma and Daughter were quirky characters who were able to surpass their own hangups and become closer-knit.

With Eve, Eve (Stephanie Wieringa) comes home in a drunken stupor and goes over the edge, finally taking her own life. The monologue at first seemed long-winded (the character of Eve is sort of a mess and rambles a bit), but as we see her fate developing the effect is chilling. Ms. Haufrecht directed Eve with much of the same emotional layering she did with The Hallway. The most arresting image of the evening was Eve taking objects around her apartment, shoving them into the hallway, and screaming at them, "You don't want to be here. Get Out!!!"

In The Hallway, both Ms. Ianonne and Ms. English were excellent, showing a deep commitment to the material. In Ma, Ms. Smith and Ms. Haufrecht were wonderful, both lending vulnerability and honesty to the play's already rich subtext. Ms. Wieringa did such a great job as Eve that the actress seemed to have evaporated before the play began. She moved about the stage like a caged tigress. The lights and sound by Julieta Aranda lent a subtle touch to the plays, and the uncredited set designer did a serviceable job.
Box Score:

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

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Copyright 1999 Andrès J. Wrath