note: entire contents copyright 2004 by Beverly Creasey
The substance of grief is addressed in Kathleen Rogers’ suspenseful new play about loss and survival, running only through this coming weekend. BALLAST rises well above the genre of psychological drama we see on TV in shows like “Without A Trace.” Rogers writes knowingly and sensitively about death…and life. Anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one knows the chills, the feeling that someone is there (perhaps in another dimension), the coincidences which have no explanation in reality –Where some shrug off the unexplainable, Rogers offers a plausible scenario for the ethereal “other side.”
Ken Loewit’s gorgeous Celtic knot, painted centerstage, is the metaphor for the ties which are severed in death. Derry Woodhouse and Natalie Rose give palpable expression to the pain which Rose’s character rightly says cannot be expressed by words. Woodhouse and Rose are such polished actors that their bodies speak volumes: Rose as mother stiffens her resolve, and her back, while Woodhouse literally bends to the breaking point under the strain.
Director Nora Hussey (and choreographer Katie Griswold) invent another language altogether to convey death. An exquisite ballet takes the place of a realistic depiction of death. Alicia Kahn amazes in two roles. The performances are stellar and the play is provocative, moving and ultimately life affirming,