BWW Review: WHAT WE MAY BE at Berkshire Theatre Group
In Kathleen Clark's, WHAT WE MAY BE, A tight-kinit group of actors, facing their final performance in their beloved and closing theatre, confront the reality of their relationships to the stage and to each other.
The piece uses two devices. A play within a play, and a behind the scenes peak though neither as well as The Skin of Our Teeth, the preceding production at Berkshire Theatre Group's Fitzpatrick Main Stage. The production is billed as a comedy but opens with a bit of drama. Members of the presumed community theatre group are milling about eagerly preparing for a performance. The house is full of eager patrons but the leading lady, Lucinda, is not quite available. Not to worry as Joan is ready, willing, and able to step-in. In the age-old theatrical tradition, the show must, and does go on. In this case, that show is a collection of one-act plays none of which we have ever heard of or seen produced. Each separate and distinct but well-played by the ensemble cast. Between the vignettes we witness behind the scenes banter between the various members of the company often focused on their individual thoughts and desires as to how they should deal with the impending closure and destruction of their beloved playhouse to make way for an apartment complex.
Carson Elrod (Glen Geer), Penny Fuller (Lucinda Royal Scott), Samantha Hill (Summer Oliver), Dee Hoty (Joan Stern), and Count Stoval (Hal Polick). As they present the one-act plays, we can clearly see that, as their resumes suggest, these are skilled and talented performers. Unfortunately, with the exception of the character of Lucinda, the material does not provide the cast much opportunity to share that with us. The characters in and of themselves, are thinly developed. We don't have a chance to know them at more than a surface level nor to care.
The four short one-act plays presented within WHAT WE MAY BE are entertaining enough and the cast does quite well in presenting them. There again, however, they lack substance and deep meaning. The result is a perfectly lovely, charming afternoon or evening of theatre. There are some moments of humor, tenderness, significance... but no particular message or meaning to be found. The shell of a theatre company and the various elements portrayed within it is amusing, particularly to those who have spent time in such an environment. That too, however, is thinly developed, and seemingly unnecessary.
The creative team for WHAT WE MAY BE includes Scenic Designer, Randall Parsons,
Costume Designer, Laurie Churba, Lighting Designer, Alan C. Edwards, Resident Composer / Sound Designer, Scott Killian, Casting Director, Alan Filderman, and Jason Weixelman. All of whom do well in their area of expertise as well. Yet there is nothing remarkable or noteworthy to call out. Berkshjire Theatre Group's Artistic Director and CEO, Kate Maguire often reminds the audience before a performance that the only is rule is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. In the case of WHAT WE MAY BE, it seems to be rather a good piece of advice.