Another entertaining and thought-provoking offering from The Echo Theater Company, performing at Atwater Village Theatre.
By Carol Edger Germain
If you are not familiar with nearby Atwater Village Theatre, here’s another opportunity to see something unique from one of the theater-companies-in-residence at the theater. Atwater has four intimate performance theater spaces, and features rotating offerings primarily from The Echo Theater Company, iama Theatre Company, Open Fist Theatre Company, Circle X Theatre Co., and Ensemble Studio Theatre-LA.
One of the current performances is “The Thin Place,” presented by The Echo Theater Company in one of the more intimate spaces. Two seating sections face each other across a minimally staged set, which worked well to make the audience feel they were part of the socializing and opining of the characters. Written by Tony-nominated Lucas Hnath and directed by Abigail Deser, the play explores the possibilities of connecting with souls in other stages of existence in “the thin place” where souls may exist, and have the power to communicate with the living, after passing from life as we know it. Linda (Janet Greaves) has made a profession of facilitating communication between the bereaved and their loved ones in the hereafter – or has she? Hilda (Caitlin Zambito) is grieving from the disappearance of her mother and the death of the grandmother who had shared with Hilda her belief in communication with the spirit world. Hilda senses that she has such connection and communication abilities but is uncertain how to channel, verify, and apply the knowledge and connection she senses.
The action fluctuates between the interaction of Linda, with the loud and engaging personality, and Hilda, with the ethereal musing, as Linda plies her trade with wealthy clients Jerry and Sylvia (Justin Huen and Corbett Tuck) at a jovial gathering.
The format of keeping Hilda mostly a step or two under the primary interaction among Linda, Jerry, and Sylvia, yet allowing Hilda to dwell in her thoughts and step aside to address the audience directly, was especially effective in stirring up the possibilities regarding what was true connection with the afterworld and what was manipulated to appear to be so.
Some questions were unanswered, left for the audience to consider in light of their own beliefs; again, another effective tactic, as it encouraged the audience to continue ruminating on the levels of existing and communicating as influenced by their own beliefs and experiences.
"The Thin Place" Echo Theater Company Atwater Village Theatre 3269 Casias Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90039 Tickets: EchoTheaterCompany.com (310) 307-3753 Through April 24 Fridays/Saturdays/Sundays/Mondays
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