Before we got rolling on production for “Stories: on the Brink”, one of our wonderful former board members, Olivia Johnson, wrote an excellent review of the production. If you do not yet listen to her podcast, where she reviews movies, theater, music and more, then do yourself a favor and check it out.
Here is her review:
Oh yes, I review live theater as well baebeh Voices Unbound A Virtual Play Review©Olivia Johnson August 28, 2021I am so blessed to have attended the opening performance of the new Anastasis Theatre’s production Voices Unbound, and I am still in awe of their achievement. Anastasis has been churning out art pieces which revolve around limiting social constructs of our inner communities. Previous to Thursday’s piece, the troupe shed a respectful and sharp focus on our Homeless body in Stories on the Brink. From generational inflictions to the many barriers the housing insecure face, Anastasis came onto the scene with a mission that continues to apply pressure for a changed landscape. First, on a technical level, the show is stellar. With a premise seems simple on a playbill, but the experience is rooted in a complex reality with factual data and reflections from historical figures like Mandela, Martin, and Lovelace. Blooming the premise are the sprinkled texts from Greek tragedies like Sappho and Sophocles. These texts were assembled by Barry Carman and Colleen O’Doherty in a cohesive timeline that was headed by Haley Haas. Her direction moves the audience through these stories with a skill hand and precision. The ease of her navigation is spot on and focused as is George Dippold’s, the technical director. Voice flexed seamless transitions, spot on voiceovers, and overlays which showcased George’s prowess of centering our attention to the story. Secondly, you know who else was rolling? The cast. With the technical and creative synchronization, the ensemble shine. Doriette Jordan, Carla M. Walker, Nature Medicine Song Villegas, Jason Witmer bridged their passion and conviction to propel Voices relevancy. My attention was caught with no release until the final credits. This is a group any writer worth their salt wishes for because they stayed on narrative and stuck the landing. With Dorette’s wise expression of Dicken’s blistering critique Travelogue (1842) to Carla’s delivery of Lovelace’s To Althea (1642), both renditions reinforces that freedom is humanity’s ultimate goal. Another revelation comes from my final reviewed point: Ernest Jackson.Finally, Voices brings down the house with the autobiographical story of Mr. Jackson, a wrongfully convicted Black man who’s life has been eclipsed by wrongful conviction. His story was told brilliantly by Nature Medicine Song Villegas & Jason Witmer, who are both survivors of incarceration abuse. They bring a rawness that is testimony of this spirit breaking system.I will conclude that Voices Unbound shares a past & present of a debilitative program that has been challenged since its inception. The show brings many questions to the table and answers them objectively leaving the viewer to determine how to course correct this myriad issue. And trust me, within the final moments of the gathering there is ample information on organizations dedicated to this rectification. There is an upcoming final virtual show, so don’t fret just follow the link below to view this dominant piece! Bravo to all!My rating: 5 Snaps out of 5