in Light and Shadow" by Stig Dalager (Denmark),
English language premiere translated and directed by Robert Greer,
adapted by Natalie Menna
March 4 to April 1, 2017 - Gene Frankel Theatre, 24 Bond Street
Presented by August Strindberg Repertory Theatre in association
with Theater Resources Unlimited.
in rotating repertory with "Marty's
Shadow" by Stig Dagerman (Sweden),
translated by Nancy Pick with Lo Dagerman and directed by Whitney
and Lauren Smith. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
"Journey in Light and Shadow" by Stig
Dalager is a mysterious play in three acts that ultimately explores
the playwriting process. The audience is lured into what appears
to be a performance that proves to be a rehearsal. There are an
older actress, a younger actress and a playwright/director who
takes all the male roles. The first act introduces issues of coldness
and abandonment between the young actress and her mother. In the
second, the World War II overshadows their interaction as it is
revealed that the younger actress's father, a POW, had been driven
to suicide by pressures dating back to the war. In the third,
the scene shifts to their dystopic future which resolves into
a bisexual biracial present bringing full circle the tensions
of the preceeding acts. While each act, particularly the first,
would stand alone as a play; in each case Dalager snaps us into
a Pirandellian dimension, revealing the pressures of the three
individuals who are shaping the plays. The result is a Twilight
Zone-like experience where the audience is challenged to guess
what is real, what is a play, and whether the characters' scars
could ever be healed.
Lauren Smith, Fergus Scully. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
were a bi-racial cast of Carol Carter, Fergus Sully and Lauren
Smith. Set design was by Jen Price-Fick. Lighting design was by
Jason Fok. Costume design was by Kathy Robinson. Sound design
and original music was by Andy Evan Cohen.
Stig Dalager (b. 1952) is a Danish writer. He
is the author of 54 literary works of all kinds, mostly novels
and plays, of which several have been translated or staged internationally.
His works include "I Count the Hours," a monologue for
a woman in Sarajevo (1993) staged in 12 countries; "The Dream,"
which premiered in New York City 1999 starring Ingmar Bergman
actress Bibi Andersson and was since staged in Moscow and Lódz,
"Two Days in July," a 2004 novel about the German officers'
rebellion against the Nazi regime on July 20, 1944, "Journey
in Blue," a biographical novel about Hans Christian Andersen
that was published in 15 countries and languages and nominated
for the IMPAC Award 2008, "The Labyrinth," a 2006 novel
set in Vienna 1993-1994, "Land of Shadows," a 2007 novel
situated in New York on 9/11 in the World Trade Center and "Slowly
Comes the Light," a 2009 novel, set in Baghdad, New York
and London 2004-2005. His most recent novels include "The
Blue Light" (2012) about Marie Curie, "Eternity of the
Moment" (2013) about Søren Kierkegaard and "Journey
without End" (2015) about Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.
His works have been published and staged in 26 countries, including
Great Britain, USA, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Turkey,
Pakistan, Egypt, Russia, China and Japan. (Wikipedia)
Fergus Scully and Lauren Smith.
STIG DALAGER has given us a piece that is so
complex that you have to pay close attention or you will get lost
in the many realities he has placed on stage. He keeps you on
your mental toes. The direction by ROBERT GREER
is sleek and deliberate. He has the characters and sub characters
moving throughout the stage using every inch. It’s his clarity
of what is going on that helps give us similar clarity
to follow it. CAROL CARTER plays Marion/Ruthie
well energized; transcending the stereotype “momma on a
couch” portrayal that the part lends itself to. She takes
both characters to a higher place where we care about and
see them. LAUREN SMITH plays Suzanne/Kruger
satisfyingly. She slips in and out of different characters with
the turn of a head or cross of the stage, which really make her
shine. FERGUS SCULLY plays really
three roles: Peter/Jacob and the Writer/Director.
Mr. SCULLY is also impressive in the way he just
seamlessly weaves himself within and without the drama happening
on stage....This is a work worth going to see for the writing
and direction alone." -- Reginald Jackson, Club