Silver Spring Stage Three Days of RainBy Laura & Mike Clark • May 23rd, 2011 • Category: Reviews
Silver Spring Stage
Woodmoor Shopping Center, Silver Spring, MD
Through June 4th
2:25 with one intermission
$20/$18 Seniors and Juniors
Reviewed May 21st, 2011
Three Days of Rain is a serious and emotional play put on by Silver Spring Stage on Saturday evening, with perhaps some interesting blocking decisions, but overall a moving play that explores how events in the past can affect the next generation’s outlook on life.
The play opens with Walker in the living room of an unoccupied apartment in downtown Manhattan in 1995. Walker’s father has recently died and the youngest sibling finally decides to show up and pay his respects, more or less. Older sister Nan comes in and tries to rekindle a relationship with her brother. This lead to a lot of exasperation accompanied by slight healing. The third member of this trio is Pip, close friend of the family who is now a star in a soap opera. He tries to bring some order to the family chaos with limited to no success.
Act Two opens with the same three players, but now the date is 1960. The three players are now the father, girlfriend, and architect partner. Each have secrets that begin to form in that have a lasting effect on the future.
All three actors gave strong performances and were able to make their first act character noticeably different from their second act character. Ryan Manning as Walker (act one) was near the boiling point with rage, hurt, anger, loss. All of which came out strongly through his gestures and physical pacing. Older sister Nan played by Lizzi Albert tried to be the calming influence. Albert was able to match Manning’s barbs and quick verbal pacing. The third member of the trio was Pip played believably by Jeff McDermott. As the obvious outsider trying to make peace, McDermott was somewhat smooth and had the equal ability to keep up with Walker and Nan. It was obvious that the Walker character wanted nothing to do with Pip and Nan.
Then after intermission you are in Act two with the parents and partner. All three were able to change personas believably and support their character. Manning as the architect partner had a severe stutter which he used effectively throughout the evening. Albert’s character of Lina was more free-spirited, but also lonely. McDermott’s character of Theo was strong, but also hopeless when he realizes his partner Ned really had the talent.
Smooth scene transitions helped keep the show moving. The set by Mary Seng was functional, and featured a short cutaway wall allowing us to see the outside street. In act one the sheets used to cover the furniture gave the room a distant feeling. In Act two the sheets came off and you had a family apartment that was livable, but still designed with a stark feel. Lighting by Bob Scott set the mood and tone of the show with each scene.
How well do you know your parents? Most of us are secure in the knowledge that we know all there is to know (or at least all that is important to know) about those to whom we are closest. But do we? I am now at the age where my friends and I are confronting our parent’s mortality, and by extension, our own. As I have attended funerals and memorial services, I have been privy to the eulogies of the lives of those of my parents’ generation. I have looked at the legacies they have left behind and in a corner of my heart have dreaded the day when I will be the one eulogizing my own parents. And during this period I discovered this play.
How well does any one person know another? This is the question Richard Greenberg explores with devastating frankness in Three Days of Rain. The play examines the way we build our lives on the assumption that we understand how the past affects the present and why those we love acted and reacted the way they did to particular events. We have the misguided belief that we know and understand our parents, siblings, and lovers, simply because we share our lives with them. Through Walker we learn of the havoc wreaked on his (and his sister Nan’s) childhood by their emotionally distant father Ned and their mentally ill mother Lina. As we watch Walker battle his personal demons we come to join in his condemnation of the parents who were never quite parents. In Act II we meet Ned and Lina and suddenly all of these assumptions shatter. As they fall, so too must our belief that we can ever actually know another person.
It is, perhaps, our tragedy as children that we grow up not just misunderstanding our parents, but never truly recognizing their viewpoints, strengths, frailties, and challenges. They are just our parents: an immutable presence in our lives. How shocked we might be to discover them in all of their glorious humanity. And what might we learn about them and ourselves if we were able to look past the façade and see the person beneath. Nan says of her father: “I forget sometimes what he was, the scope of the life he made.” Isn’t this true of all of us as we consider our parents?
Debbie Niezgoda, Director
- Walker / Ned: Ryan Manning
- Nan / Lina: Lizzi Albert
- Pip / Theo: Jeff McDermott
- Producer: Seth Ghitelman
- Director: Debbie Niezgoda
- Assistant Director: Leta Hall
- Stage Manager: Kristen Skolnik
- Set Designer: Mary Seng
- Master Carpenter: Nicole Jaja
- Scenic Painting: Elyse Bennett & Mary Seng
- Set Construction and Painting Assistants: Patrique Beard, Keith Brown, Peter Caress, Jamie Coupar, Elizabeth Druga, Ed Eggleston, Crystal Fergusson, Seth Ghitelman, Andrew Greenleaf, Joseph Jaja, Jeff McDermott, Joanna McKee, Mary Seng, Bill Strein, Bob Thompson
- Properties: Mary Dalto
- Set Dressing and Decoration: Mike Smith
- Lighting Designer: Bob Scott
- Sound Designer: Ed Moser
- Light & Sound Execution: Seth Ghitelman, Brenda Ryan
- Running Crew: Matilda Parker
- Costumer: Crystal Simone Fergusson
- Make-up & Hair: the Cast
- Photographer: Harvey Levine
- Playbill: Leta Hall
- Program Covers & Subscription Brochure: Craig Allen Mummey
- Artistic Liaison: David Dubov
- Hospitality: Kathie Mack
- Opening Night Reception: Richard Ley
Disclaimer: Silver Spring Stage provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/6860.
Laura & Mike Clark 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.