Friday, July 22, 2016

Playwrights Festival Kicks Off With a Winner

Meredith Levy in her biographical piece "She Made Space" tonight.
Meredith Dayna Levy has been the star of the last several Hollins Playwrights Festivals and after seeing her "She Made Space" to open the 2016 version tonight, I'd say she's there again.

Meredith Levy.
Meredith has written--while a student at Hollins--"Decision Height" and "Coupler," both major award winners. Her newest is a lyrical biographical piece full of symbolism, humor, self realization and the kind of plain language she has used as an art form of its own.

This is about a young woman--and a girl, as she most often appears--who has finally come to completely understand and accept that she is a lesbian. Much of that understanding has come through reading about the lives of major lesbian literary figures, several of whom she quotes.

Director Lauren Brooke Ellis, another Hollins student, directs this piece with a deft hand.

Hollins Theater Department luminary Bob Ross, a former New York director, called the play "utterly magical and enchanting" in the talkback that followed the production and he hit it spot on. I don't know how much courage Meredith had to gin up in order to write and act in this one-woman play about herself, but I suspect it took a lot of understanding of herself and an embrace of who she is to make it all so public. I am a recovering alcoholic and I've written a pretty blunt memoir, so I know the process and it ain't easy, boys and girls.

The house was nearly packed shortly before showtime.
But it is rewarding and in the case of "She Made Space," it is rewarding to an entire audience.

The 10-play festival continued in Roanoke tonight at 8 p.m. (you've missed it) and picks up again tomorrow at 11 a.m., 2, 4 and 8 p.m. and on Sunday at 11 a.m., 2, 4 and 8 p.m. at the Waldron Stage at Mill Mountain Theatre.

My only regret is that you won't be able to see Meredith's play, but I'm assured there are more gems in the bin.
Hollins playwright guru Todd Ristau, Director Lauren Ellis and Meredith Levy.

No comments:

Post a Comment