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October 4, 2012

OU Lab Theatre’s premiere explores lingering questions

(Continued)

Secrets —

Ryan’s realistic and sensitive depiction of cerebral palsy patient, Sherry, also brings about laughs through her curse and graphic descriptions of being a prisoner in her own body. Using only the text to elicit a response, you feel conflicted on how to engage with Scarlett, through her body or her mind.

“Lion in the Streets” is built from small episodic scenes that begin with a young Portuguese girl named Isobel. Sweet and apparently lost as she stumbles into center stage, Isobel is dressed in a dirtied nightgown with her black hair pulled back in two braids. She has returned to present day Toronto to search for her family.

Isobel plays our guide as scenes from her own life interweave and finally collide in the play’s final scene. Along the way, Isobel discovers she is a ghost among the living, while we are challenged to continue watching one painful scene after another.

OU senior Andrea Lopez portrays the slain Isobel. Her physical reactions to the scenes unfolding in front of her are reflected in the audience. Lopez’s presence on stage throughout the production is a reminder of innocence lost.

Who frees us from our darkest memories? Our pain? Our suffering? Kelcie Miles explores these questions as the wife, Jill, who will do anything to save her marriage, including undressing in front of all her friends in hopes of winning him back. This is only the second scene and very challenging for any age.

Allison Trussell portrays Sherry who is a vulnerable 20-something and wants nothing more than to be married, even at the hands of a man who rapes her every night. Whalen explores retrospectively David’s journey to accepting his homosexuality while Conner Wilson’s character, Michael, physically lashes out to in hopes of stopping the physical urges he feels toward other men.

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