Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Review of Turtle at Redtwist Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Turtle. It was by Jake Jeppson and it was directed Damon Kiely. It was about a woman named Molly (Emily Tate) who was a mother of two young children and her daughter (voiced by Miranda Garrabrandt through the baby monitor) was obsessed with turtles and they loved watching turtle documentaries together. Then Molly became obsessed with turtles but she never knew how much turtles could shape her relationship with her husband Sloan (Drew Johnson) and his brother Pete (Michael Sherwin) and sister-in-law Grace (Carolyn Kruse). This play is about how a small thing can change your life, the struggles of being a parent, and feeling disconnected from the people you love. I thought this was a really intriguing and exciting show.

I really loved the opening monologue. What I especially liked about it was how light it was, so that the big things that happened later in the play were more surprising. The monologue was Molly trying to get both of her kids to calm down. You learn about how she is a stressed mom and all she wants to do is have a bit of peace and quiet, but still be a good parent. I think it is a great introduction for Molly's character; it shows you the classic suburban mom and how protective she is, but then as the play continues you get to see not just the parenting part of her life but also her relationship with her husband and his family. There was one moment that I found very funny where Molly accidentally burns the grilled cheese for her kids and then she acts like it is totally fine when she is clearly very pissed off, and says "Just let mommy scrape off the burnt parts real quick."

I think the turtle is in the play to show how much Molly cares about her children and how much she wants the best for her entire family, but still wants to be happy. The play takes something important away from the turtle to show how Molly is when something important is taken away from her. When the turtle loses its babies, it loses its purpose; a turtle's occupation is basically to make more turtles. That shows how Molly kind of realizes that once her children are gone she will have a completely new life like the turtle when it goes to the aquarium. The turtle shows us Molly's dedication to the people that she loves and has to love, but it still isn't a happy ending for anyone because even if you feel like you are doing the right thing, it doesn't mean that everything will turn out in the end.

In this play, politics are sometimes a distraction from what is going on right in front of you. Pete, who is Sloan's brother, his marriage is not going great, but instead of talking about his marriage and trying to fix things he decides to talk about politics instead. He has also just been fired from his job, but then he won't even talk to anyone about it. But Molly doesn't use politics as a distraction she uses it as connection by having knowledge of the election so she can talk more with her brother-in-law, who she might like as more than a brother-in-law. Even though he uses politics as a distraction he also finds a connection with her.

People who would like this show are people who like connections through politics, intriguing stories about motherhood, and symbolic turtles. I think people should see this show. I felt like it was an interesting show and I had never seen anything like it before.

Photos: Jan Ellen Graves

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