Thursday, November 18, 2010

April Drummond Shines Again with 'God's Eye'

You gotta love April Drummond, even when she's preaching at you. She did that tonight in her senior thesis play, "God's Eye," at the Hollins University Theatre, but because it was April I just let it soak in as good theater, which it was.

April is a Horizon student at Hollins ("non-traditional," they call it and April's certainly that: single mother of seven kids who started college at 40) and she's finishing her senior year as an accomplished theater person. I don't single out a discipline because, as she demonstrates so well in "God's Eye," you can't. She does everything. I even suggested she might have had a hand in the set construction to one of the roadies and she nodded with a smile.

"God's Eye" is a 19th Century Christian morality play with a good bit of absurdity involved and some humor that sometimes seems misplaced--but is always funny. April--quiet, feminine, sweet, thoughtful April--is a riot when she turns on the comedy charm and as the story's conscience--Grandmother Straightway--she turns it on plenty.

She wrote, directed, acted in, lent four of her children to and wrote words and music for "God's Eye." Her daughter, Farrah Johnson is a splendid female lead (with Kimba Clemmons as a wonderfully sleazy foil as Mr. Jones) you can spot her other kids throughout (though April had to think before she identified four of them when asked).

My guess is that April will be a major talent before she's through. "God's Eye" is a good building block, though hardly her best work, even to this point, and my guess is that when she focuses on some of the characters finding their way onto the paper in a smaller format (this play had 20 people in it), she will find the voice that's dying to get out. I still see a Pulitzer in this one's future.

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