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Review: A LEAGUE OF HER OWN by the Bottle Alley Theatre Company And Just Friends

This production is now closed.

Review: A LEAGUE OF HER OWN by the Bottle Alley Theatre Company And Just Friends
Abby Ferree in "A League of Her Own"
Picture Credit: Jonah Fujikawa

Don't let the informal and unusual venue of the Bottle Alley Theatre Company and Just Friends deter you from seeing new theatrical works in Austin, TX. This reviewer adventured to a small gathering in someone's backyard to enjoy an evening of pure creativity with A League of Her Own and was surprised with an original play that kept the audience at the edge of the seat for all 65 minutes. "Sam is ready for a new world full of possibility and rebirth but something hides in the dark" and in A League of Her Own, she invites us into her hiding place where we spend the next hour inside the waking nightmare that has become her life.

Samantha "Sam" wakes up to the beeping sound of a tracker that has been secretly placed in her backpack by her relentless stalker. She panics. She thought she had escaped him but now wonders if he is hiding in the shadows outside her new place. In a series of flashbacks between past and present, Samantha gives us a run down of the last few years of her life. It all started when she was working at a coffee shop and a customer asked her out. After she declined his multiple advances, this narcissistic and delusional man could not take no for an answer and started to harass her in what can be clearly seen as mental assault.

Review: A LEAGUE OF HER OWN by the Bottle Alley Theatre Company And Just Friends
Abby Ferree as Samantha
Picture Credit: Jonah Fujikawa

A League of Her Own carefully touches on the effects of stalking as a form of mental assault. It shows us how perpetrators repeatedly and disruptively break into the life-world of the victims, creating a sense of isolation and helplessness that is paralyzing and terrifying. Furthermore, the play explores the failure of the legal system in supporting the victims. Samantha relives her visits to the police station, where she was ignored for lack of physical evidence of abuse, despite her many detailed and well-documented recollections of each encounter with her stalker. Not unlike victims of any kind of abuse, Sam feels alone. She does what she can to avoid the creepy stalker, she ignores him, moves, and even changes phone numbers but the more she isolates herself from the world, the more desperate and chaotic her life and mind become.

In every scene, Ms. Ferree conveys Sam's emotion with raw authenticity and realism. Sam's fear for her life is so palpable that the audience gasps when she gasps and jumps when she makes sudden moves to check the windows for any sign of the creepy fellow that has been stocking her for years. A sweet memory opens a window into what Sam's life could have been if it weren't for this abusive man. She recalls an encounter with a female lover she met online and we collectively hope she can go back to that happy place where life was full of hope and possibilities.

Ms. Ferree is the only actor on stage but her command of the space and the rich content of this piece is so strong that no other actors are needed to sense the presence of evil lurking in the shadows. She is fearless and delivers each line with the intensity the script demands and the respect the subject deserves.

On an Austin summer night, the backyard room that serves as a stage is small, intimate, hot, and sticky. The chaotic props, which consist of simple household items, cardboard boxes, and lots of papers all over the floor, represent the state of Sam's mind. The setting is appropriate for a play that aims to pull you into Sam's world, one where she needs to hide to survive and be ready to run at any moment. A horrifying nightmare that has driven her into isolation and paranoia.

As we were asked to leave or rather kicked out by Sam, I felt a deep sense of guilt for abandoning my newest friend in a moment of need. I still wonder what happened to Sam that fateful night. Was she able to confront her stalker and survive? Was she able to run away and disappear once again? This is how you know a piece of theatre is good; it leaves you wondering and it changes you forever.

The show is no longer running, but I recommend following Bottle Alley Theatre Company and Just Friends for more unique original plays.

Cast and Creative Crew:

"A League of Her Own" starring Abby Ferree was directed by Allison Price and written by Allison Price, Abby Ferree, and Jonah Fujikawa. Produced by Bottle Alley Theatre Company and Just Friends.



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