Synetic Family Theater The Rough-Faced GirlBy Michael Clark • Nov 22nd, 2011 • Category: Reviews
Synetic Family Theater
Synetic Family Theater, Arlington, VA
Through December 28th
$15/$12 in advance
Reviewed November 19th, 2011
Synetic Theater has built a solid reputation with their voiceless productions of Shakespeare’s plays. Now the Synetic Family Theater is bringing the silence to kids with their production of The Rough-Faced Girl.
The Rough-Faced Girl is a retelling of the Cinderella story, directed and adapted by Elena Velasco. Oochigeaskw (the names really aren’t important, as they are never said) is given the job of tending the fire, which leaves her with scars on her face and arms. She, and the other girls in the village, try to get Achak, a handsome young hunter, to marry them. Inside the show’s playbill is a synopsis of the show which helps you understand what is happening, but isn’t required reading.
The cast (Joshua Rosenblum, Jessica Thorne, Jade Wheeler, Tori Bertocci, Randy Snight, Michaela Rothschild) dance, leap, perform acrobatics, and act throughout the performance space, including the seating area. The characterizations were consistent, altough a few times early in the show it was a bit confusing who each character was.
The focus of Phil Charlwood’s ingenious set is four large sheets hanging from the ceiling which are moved into different configurations for each scene. Sometimes they are branches of a tree, a swing, ropes and vines, or walls of tents or houses. Other aspects of the set include a narrow ledge on the upstage wall and hidden entrances through the walls. Konstantine Lortkipanidze’s beautiful, and at times haunting, music set the mood of each scene. Lawson Earl’s lights were at times a bit dark, making the theatre too cozy, but some of the effects were delightful.
The children at the performance weren’t quite sure what to expect, and there were a few scenes that generated many more whispered questions than others (“Who is she?” or “What’s that?” were often heard). But the kids were also quick to share their laughter as the girls chased Achak around the room, and quick to share their joy as Oochigeaskw and Achak were united.
While this may not be the best show to use as an introduction to theatre, the story of The Rough-Faced Girl and the antics of the actors should keep the attention of most children.
Photos by Michael Rothschild
- Achak: Joshua Rosenblum
- Takhi: Jessica Thorne
- Rough-Faced Girl: Jade Wheeler
- Nadie: Tori Bertocci
- Elements: Randy Snight
- Mother: Michaela Rothschild
- Director/Adapter/Co-Sound Designer: Elena Velasco
- Stage Manager: Kathryn Dooley
- Set Designer: Phil Charlwood
- Co-Costume Designer: Anna Hazen Blanchard
- Costume Designer: Azura Hassan
- Composer: Konstantine Lortkipanidze
- Lighting Designer: Lawson Earl
Disclaimer: Synetic Family Theater provided a complimentary media ticket to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/7383.