Interrobang Theatre Project presents a very female slice of life in its superbly acted production of British playwright Elinor Cook’s OUT OF LOVE.
You know them when you see them—BFFs, at any age and of any place...
The besties we come to know and deeply bond with in but an hour’s time in playwright Elinor Cook’s Out of Love are from England--the relatively modern day England where the working class they hail from has been devastated by mine and factory closures.
This is not a story about two characters who happen to be female. Rather, we see and know Grace (Laura Berner Taylor) and Lorna (Sarah Gise) through a very female focused lens, where how they grapple with their genitals and gender is center stage from the beginning of childhood sexual explorations to the end (Spoiler Alert!) of imagined synchronized launch into motherhood.
This tale so well told does not unfold from beginning to end though. Slices of life move back and forth in time giving us a glimpse of how every present moment draws roots from shared experiences and memory. The events of their lives are almost secondary settings to their so female and so strong bond that helps them weather their hormones, circumstances, emotions and fates.
Interrobang Theatre Project Chooses Superlative Script
Fans of Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan Novels will likely find in Interrobang Theatre Project’s Out of Love, the fifth sequel they have so much craved. In this writer's view, these characters are so well-drawn by Cook’s pen it is no wonder why Interrobang’s Artistic Director and Director of this production, Georgette Verdin, was seduced by this script. Verdin’s able touch well-known to Interrobang fans is present throughout—the only question perhaps is how much or how little she had to do to unleash the superb acting by these two actresses and the third actor, Peter Gertes, who is the pan-male role player throughout.
You too may find the set and lighting design in this production particularly intriguing (Sotirios Livaditis:: Scenic Design; Michelle Benda: Lighting Design). When you walk into the small Rivendell Theatre space where this is staged you are captivated by purple hue lights in front of a blue backdrop. In front of these lights trapezoidal platforms of varying sizes spill towards the audience. The opening for the action is framed to make the stage smaller. It struck this writer at first as borderline nauseating to keep in view before the action begins. By play’s end though you too may come to marvel at its brilliance, and how this simple geometric confection eased us into imagining the shared moments of these characters’ lives as time moves backwards and forwards. How perfect!—and especially so when the narrowed frame freezes time in picture postcards mailed from the stage.
A script as rich as life itself, and performed with consummate skill—this is a top pick for any lover of theater and especially for those drawn to slice of life literature.
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read — Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
Title: OUT OF LOVE
Playwright: Elinor Cook
Director: Artistic Director Georgette Verdin
CAST: (in alphabetical order): Peter Gertas (George, Charlie, Leonard), Sarah Gise (Lorna) and Laura Berner Taylor (Grace).
PRODUCTION TEAM: Sotirios Livaditis: (scenic design), Steph Taylor (costume design), Michelle Benda (lighting design), Erik Siegling (sound designer/original composition), Claire Yearman* (violence/intimacy designer), Elise Kauzlaric (dialect coach), Jamie Kreppein (assistant director), Richie Vavrina (production manager), Elana Elyce* (artistic producer), Evan Sposato (technical director), Blake Cordell (master electrician) and Albert "Beep" Trefts (stage manager).
Thru September 14
Thursdays and Fridays at 8 pm
Saturdays at 3 pm & 8 pm
Sundays at 3 pm.
5779 N. Ridge Ave.
$32, with student and industry discounts
Check for Half-Price Deals from Hot Tix:
For full-priced tickets and ticket availability information visit the Interrobang Theatre Project website or call (312) 219-4140.
Photos: Emily Schwartz
Note: Picture This Post reviews are excerpted by Theatre in Chicago