note: entire contents copyright 2004 by Carl A. Rossi
Harper … Renee Miller
Joan as a child … Nicole Brathwaite / Natanjah Driscoll
Joan … Naeemah A. White-Peppers
Todd … Paul Rorie
Effective “cutting-edge” theatre cannot be created with dull blades; director David J. Miller should have sharpened his knife before taking on Caryl Churchill’s brief, nightmarish FAR AWAY. Ms. Churchill’s loose --- very loose --- plot has Joan, a young girl, being fed lies by her aunt regarding her uncle’s suspicious nocturnal activities and later growing up in a cold, fascist world that ends in global warfare with even the planet’s birds and animals joining in the bloodbath; the show’s highlight is a catwalk promenade of brutalized factory workers displaying garish hats and being gunned down, afterwards. FAR AWAY is wide open for interpretation --- I see it as the girl’s bad dream, myself --- a razor-sharp production could possibly knit this all together but either Ms. Churchill’s horror-comic style defeats Mr. Miller or he feels that flattened realism is the way to go; aside from eagle-eyed Renee Miller as the lying aunt, the results are stillborn.