The Essential Theatre has been dedicated to presenting new works by Georgia playwrights for the past 17 years, and they are a valuable asset in our theatre community. Currently playing at the West End Performing Arts Center they are staging the world premiere of Dispossessed by Karen Wurl.
It is set in New York in the 1920’s when Yiddish theatre flourished with performers such as the Thomashefskys and Molly Picon. We meet a theatre group in rehearsals for their production about a young woman about to be married, and not quite into the act. It is based on the Yiddish play, The Dybbuk, or Between Two Worlds.
Marc Gowan is the father of the bride to be, in the play within a play, as well as the play itself. So you may get a wee bit confused. But, as the head of the family of performers, he wants his daughter, Rivka (Amelia Fischer), to marry Natan (Jake Krakovsky) who plays the role of the lover in the play and play within. He’s important; as the father wants him in the business to help build audiences.
The mother, Chavelle (Kathleen McManus), is right out of The Goldbergs. She’s the type who knows what you want and tells you what you want to do. Then we meet up with the spirit, Leah (Alyssa Caputo), who provides some input to Rivka’s assessment of her rights and obligations. It wasn’t easy for the young woman in those days.
Directed by Peter Hardy, the cast of nine players pull off a very engaging performance. This fine script is the Essential Playwright co-prize winner for this year, and one that every member of the cast and crew can be proud of. Hopefully it will get to play to bigger houses in years to come. There are Yiddish terms in the script but you don’t have to be Jewish to understand what is being said. Bottom line is this one is a winner in many ways.
The venue is on Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard, easy to get to, free parking and good seating for the small stage. This show will run in repertory with it’s co-winner, When Things Are Lost, so check dates and times easily at their website, EssentialTheatre.com