|Rosie Benton, Erik Lochtefeld and P.J. Sosko. Photo: Carol Rosegg|
By Jessica Dickey
Directed by Daniela Topol
The Women's Project
What's It All About?
Civil War Re-Enactors meet in a bar following Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg and find themselves on new battlefields with thoughts about modern society and ghosts of real battles from the past interwoven to ask the question "Has Anything Really Changed?" 150 years later?
The play’s title comes from Maj. Gen. George Pickett's order to charge the Union line on Cemetery Ridge. As men rushed forward and, as the defenders’ guns fired, row after row of Confederate soldiers fell to the ground, dead.
Die-hard Cal (P.J. Sosko) takes issue with the not-regulation uniform of Leah (Rosie Benton), as well as women participating in the battle at all.It's 150 years after Gettysburg, Leah quips, but a woman still has to fight for a place at the table. Tom's buddy, Tom (Erik Lochtefeld), a history teacher, is less hostile and responds with wonderment to most everything with, "Wowsa."
Discussions about the plight of women and other concerns of modern society play out (in nicely chosen modern colloquialism) are juxtaposed with scenes of a soldier deserting during the Civil War and a woman disguising herself as a man to go to battle. Time transitions are nicely executed with the help of Lighting Design by Tyler Micoleau and Sound Design by Broken Chord.
What Are The Highlights?
An interesting commentary given the polarized political state of our nation. The set, designed by Clint Ramos (who also designs the costumes), is minimally built on a foundation of firewood, giving thought to how easily dissenting opinion could cause our nation to go up in flames.
What Are the Lowlights?
The script is so-so without a lot of direction. Beyond giving Leah a platform to make some passionate statements, there isn't too much plot and the ghostly element isn't thoroughly developed.
Row After Row will run through Feb. 16 at NY City Center's Stage II. Season Tickets Women's Project Theater memberships for the entire season, which includes all three main stage shows and some special events, start at $60 and may be purchased atwww.wptheater.org or by calling 212-765-1706. Single tickets are $60 can be purchased online at www.NYCityCenter.org, by calling CityTix® at 212-581-1212, or at the New York City Center Box Office, 131 West 55th St. (between Sixth and Seventh avenues).
Women’s Project Theater was founded in 1978 by Julia Miles to address the significant under-representation of women in the American theater, and has since built a tremendous legacy. Although even today women playwrights and directors severely lack parity in pay and opportunity, the extraordinary women artists who have broken through the glass ceiling have all crossed the threshold at Women’s Project Theater, including Eve Ensler, Lynn Nottage, Maria Irene Fornes, Suzan-Lori Parks, Diane Paulus, Sarah Ruhl, Paula Vogel, and Anna Deavere Smith, among the many. Throughout its 36-year history, Women’s Project Theater has produced and/or developed over 600 plays and published 11 anthologies of plays.
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-- God's name taken in vain