Prisoners Living in ‘Squall-er.’
No One Is Forgotten is an edgy play that deals with woman in jail; it looks at two woman living in “squall-er” (I am presuming in Saudi Arabia, but not sure). The two woman deal with their horrific life behind bars the best way that they can; they make jokes, play trivia and other means to get by. Although it is not made clear that they are activists, the audience can assume it by where the two talk about where they have been in the world—who goes to the Congo or Liberia unless they have to?
Winter Miller, who is a very deep writer, has written another really good play. Seeing In Darfur at The Public, Miller is a no-nonsense, two-hander of a writer. No One Is Forgotten is no exception; not a play for the weak-hearted, Miller delivers a raw, edgy piece of work. From lighting to costumes, this play goes to deep, dark places. Although we get generalities of the actors, where they are and what they are in jail for, we feel the horror of these people being treated horribly. From physical to mental abuse, Miller, for the most part, lets us draw our own conclusions.
In what is a great venue, The Rattlestick Theater, we see the stage set in the middle of the theater, a box, and in the middle, the body of work set before all to see. Founded in 1994 by Gary Bonasorte, Rattlestick is known for its long standing commitment to producing ambitious and provocative new works that respond to the complexity of our culture. Rattlestick is a multi-award winning organization which has developed and produced over 100 World Premiers in the past 23 seasons. The theater has had multiple successes with both awards and shows that have gained traction and went on to great notoriety.
No One Is Forgotten is a 90 minute, intermission-less play that has wonderful costume and prop design. Rhys Roffey is so detailed in every way, from the dirt on the actors hands and feet to the shabby rags that they have been given. Blending well with two woman that have to beg for water and are grateful when food shows up, Roffey’s costumes accent the brutality these woman suffer.
With industrial lighting, Stacey Derosier gives us the depressing, desperate feel that these woman experience. The lights are much like the lighting used in the hallways of a hospital operating room. In desperate times, when the two are in conflict, she sets the lights lower to dramatize the effects of what these two human beings are going through. Clearly the back beat of the show, the lighting was incredible throughout the evening.
Renata Friedman and Sarah Nina Hayon were exceptional in their roles as two prisoners who brave the depravity they suffer. Making the most of the state which is their lives, the two are humorous, edgy, survivors and very human. Under the great direction of Winter Miller, we see the desperation of these women, two women who love each other, at times fight with one another, but at all times protect each other the best that they can. In the 90 minutes of this raw play, Miller shows us all sides of these two humans; she has us in that jail with them, and she has us fully committed to their plight.
No One Is Forgotten is an attempt to make people aware of what is going on around the world in places like Africa and Saudi Arabia. Winter Miller brings forth to the stage what happens to woman who fight for the basic freedoms that we take for granted here in America. She also makes the audience aware of how it can be brought to light and how people can fight back against this brutality and in the cause for these freedoms.REVIEW
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