Caridad Svich's play The Way Of Water follows the lives of a group of impoverished people living on the coast of Louisiana in the wake of the BP oil spill.
Emily Zimmer, Eric Sharp, H. Adam Harris and Hope Cervantes in The Way Of Water. Photo by e.g. bailey
Critics agree that while Frank Theatre gives the play a solid production, the topic is a challenging one for the stage.
Svich places her characters in such dire straits that they have nowhere to go but inexorably, agonizingly down. While that might be journalistically accurate, that kind of one-way thematic provides for problematic drama.
H. Adam Harris and Hope Cervantes in "The Way of Water" at Frank Theatre
Photo by e.g. bailey
While Frank Theatre gives "The Way of Water" a solid production under Wendy Knox's direction, Svich's dialogue is annoyingly elliptical, leading to odd, jerky exchanges between the characters. In the throes of his illness, Jimmy repeatedly launches into flights of poetic prophesying so awkwardly transitioned that they seem affected rather than affecting.
Plays of this nature often suffer from character flatness (after all, it's an outside force the characters confront, not something that comes, more interestingly, from inside). The Way Of Water is no exception.
The Way of Water runs through September 30 at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis. Have you seen it? What's your review?
As committed supporters of the orchestras -- quite often financially -- patrons are an important factor in negotiating contracts for both players and management.
But as MPR's Euan Kerr reports, most people are unaware that the Minnesota Orchestra and the SPCO are undergoing heated labor negotiations.
...Word of the orchestral contract battles had not seemed to have reached the people in Rice Park in St. Paul, even in the shadow of the SPCO's home at the Ordway Center.
"This is the first I've heard of it, and I've gone to the orchestra," said passerby Mike White. "My wife and I have been there usually about two and three times a year for the last few years. But I didn't know there was an issue,"
A bevy of brightly clad teenagers also said they hadn't heard anything.
"No. We go to a performing arts school, so we like that kind of stuff, but..." one said.
This reaction is unsurprising to public relations specialist Jon Austin, who is a veteran of many labor disputes including as company spokesman during the pilots' strike at Northwest Airlines. The real focus of an orchestral public relations war will be on regular patrons, he said.
"The number of people whose hearts and minds they are competing for, frankly, is pretty small," he said. "Probably could fill the Minnesota Orchestra Main Hall and maybe overflow into the lobby a little bit. But it's a pretty small number."