Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Port City Playhouse Split Second

By • Jun 11th, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Port City Playhouse’s Split Second [MP3 5:06 2.3MB].

Split Second
Port City Playhouse
Lee Center for the Performing Arts, Alexandria, VA
$15/$13 Seniors & Juniors
Through June 21st

Laura: This is the ShowBizRadio review of Split Second, performed by Port City Playhouse in Alexandria, Virginia. We saw the performance on Saturday evening, June 7, 2008.

Mike: Split Second is a play by Dennis McIntyre. It is a hot 4th of July night in the streets of New York when Val Johnson, a black cop, chases down William H. Willis, a white petty thief who has attempted to steal a car. When the thief taunts him beyond the brink, this by-the-book cop’s rage consumes him and what he does within a blink affects the rest of his life.

Laura: This was a really intense show and you came away thinking a lot about consequences. I think everyone acted well. I liked the timing and the pace of the show very much.

Mike: This was a very well done show. There were only two or three people on stage for the entire show. Each scene could stand alone on its own. They were such powerful scenes, with pretty well defined relationships. I think all the performers did a pretty good job. The language and some of the situations were rather adult.

Laura: Val Johnson, the black cop, was played by Christopher C. Holbert. I liked his presentation very much. Throughout the show, I felt he was trying to come to grips with what he had done in the opening scene and how that was going to affect the rest of his life. I could see a lot of emotion on his face when he was weighing what was the right thing to do. He sought advice from his father and and some of the other characters that he interacted with. They all had different opinions for him.

Mike: I liked that his story would change as he talked to different people. He was lying to himself as well as other people. Then when they would call him on the lie, he would lie again. Throughout the entire show he kept changing his story and changing his opinion because he did not know what he wanted. He received conflicting advice from his wife and his father. Those relationships got very twisted. It was a great performance and he did a great job with it.

Laura: Val Johnson’s wife, Alea Johnson was played by Amy Miharu Hard. She was also very strong and very emotional. Especially when she was trying to protect her husband and keep him from potentially going to jail. She did not care about consequences at all. She was out to protect her husband. It is also important to note that the role of Alea Johnson will be played by Kathy Nay on June 13 and 14.

Mike: The car thief, William Willis, was played by Jackson Dismukes. He only had one scene, but it was very important. He had to stay “on” for that entire scene and he did a really good job with that. He was struggling with the handcuffs, and against the cop. He was struggling with everything. I liked the energy he brought to the scene. It really set the standard for how the rest of the show would flow.

Laura: The other players in the group were Captain Parker played by Franklin Walker; Charlie, a friend of Val’s and another cop played by Jermaine Shorts. Rusty Johnson, Val’s father played by Donnell Boykin.They all did well. Their scenes were not together. They were on stage with Val at different times. I like the pacing and the intensity that each of them had as far as what Val should say to cover his story.

Mike: The set was fairly basic. There were several areas on the stage set with different lights. There was a cityscape background in the upstage area. That was it, but that was really all they needed. A couple chairs, a sofa, a bench and a desk were carried on and off for a few scenes. It worked really well. The lights were almost always from the top, kind of giving almost a halo effect at times to people who did not really deserve a halo. It really got into the black and white of what do you say, what is truth, what happened. The show had so many different things that you could think about and apply. For example the decisions of the consequences that you make. The light was designed by Chris Hardy and Alice Lee. The set was designed by Ed Bishop and Donald Neal.

Laura: Split Second ran an hour and fifty minutes with one intermission. It is playing through Saturday June 21. Fridays and Saturdays at 8. A show on Tuesday the 17th at 8 pm at the Lee Center for the Performing Arts in Alexandria, Virginia. The show does contain a lot of adult language and adult situations.

Mike: I don’t think you will be disappointed if you go see this show. It will make you think. The performances were top notch. We’d like to invite you to join our free mailing list. Stay informed with what’s happening with theatre in the DC region.

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • William Willis: Jackson Dismuks
  • Val Johnson: Christopher C. Hobert
  • Captain Parker: Franklin Walker
  • Charlie: Jermaine Shorts
  • Alea Johnson: Amy Miharu Hard
  • Rusty Johnson: Donnell Boykin
  • Alea Johnson (Understudy June 13 & 14): Kathy Nay


  • Producer: Donald Neal
  • Director: Ed Bishop
  • Stage Manager: Carlyn Lightfoot
  • Set Design: Ed Bishop, Donald Neal
  • Set Construction: Donald Neal
  • Assisted by: Ron Field, Robert Kraus
  • Painting: Bette Williams
  • Set Dressing: Donna Reynolds
  • Properties: Donald Neal
  • Lighting Design: Chris Hardy, Alice Lee
  • Master Electrician: Alice Lee
  • Assisted by: Bob Timmerman
  • Sound Design: Keith Bell
  • Costume Design: Farrell Hartigan
  • Hair & Makeup: The Cast
  • Graphic Design: Eleni Aldridge
  • Playbill: Jennifer Lyman
  • Photographer: Douglas Olmsted
  • Publicity: Cal Whitehurst
Tagged as:

This article can be linked to as:

started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

Comments are closed.