Graduating students at the University College Drama Program have something to sink their teeth into with Maria Irene Fornes 's idea-filled Fefu And Her Friends . Set at the title character's upscale country house, the piece follows the guests as they talk about men and women, heterosexual and lesbian love, heaven and hell.
Director Maja Ardal neatly leads the play through its multiple settings - two parts are in the theatre proper, while for the middle section the audience moves around to different locales - and has the all-female cast thoughtfully exploring the feminist and Chekhovian aspects of the slippery text.
Standouts in the double-cast show include Alexandra Saye in the title role, an intentionally ambiguous woman whose life and marriage aren't as perfect as she first suggests, and Jennifer Balen as the energetic, playful Emma.
We don't see nearly enough of the work of playwright Alexis Bernier , whose last production was the 2002 Fringe hit Breaking Character. Her suggestive work has a nuanced layering of meanings that elicits strong work from actors. So we're looking forward to the workshop of Still Life , presented by skazmos theatre , about a decades-old marriage brought to surprising fruition when the wife's mysterious counterpart appears. And you couldn't ask for a better cast - Martha Henry , Diana Leblanc and R.H. Thomson . See One-Nighters, page 62, for details.