Dirty White by Susanna Uchatius

Dates and Venue 22 - 30 April 2010 | The Cultch's VanCity Culture Lab, Vancouver

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Although Theatre Terrific's latest mainstage production, a reimagining of Ovid's The Raven and the Crow, was well-directed and acted, I feel that he company should stick to its original mission of getting actors with mental and physical disabilities. This is what makes this company unique. If it weren't for the "disability" factor, then it would be another typical theatre company casting seasoned actors.

In this production, apparently the only actor with a disability was Adam Lingden who played the role of The Boy. All the rest seemed like normal actors: Sindy Angel as Cora who has been performing for the past seven years; Christian G. H. Prohom as God, who has been acting since he was 10; Manuel Shulte as The Raven, who has performed in such roles as Tuzenback in Chekhov's Three Sisters; and writer/dancer Charlie Wilson as Daw.

Artistic Director/Playwright/Director Uchatius likes writing plays based on the Greek/Roman Classics, and this is interesting because all Western thought including religion is based on this premise. However, one has to have a knowledge of the personnages of Greek and Roman mythology to be able to grasp the adaptation that she gives to these characters. Perhaps the programme should elucidate the audience more on who Ovid is, and how his work, Metamorphosis, fits into her adaptation and insight into what and why "Dirty White".

I did have classical training under the Jesuits in my school days and I do understand the way the gods and goddeses of Olympus had affairs with humans, many times raping them as is show in one scene of this long one-act play.

I could also see the concept of a metaphorical god, and atheistic premises underlying the play, but does a normal audience see it?

Perhaps there's no need. There are many ways to view a play, and one doesn't necessarily have to look at the philosophical ruminations that underly it. And in this play, one can talk of many things from the visual symbolism brought about by the lighting design of Parjada Sarisi, or Joel DeStephano's well worked out sound design. Or simply the blocking and acting, and all the emotions that go with the actors interacting.

From this vantage point, I'd say the play was well-delivered.

© 2010 Ed Farolan