Review: WE ARE CONTINUOUS at Williamstown Theatre Festival

An Extremely Good Thing in A Relatively Small Package.

By: Aug. 07, 2022
Review: WE ARE CONTINUOUS at Williamstown Theatre Festival

During both my educational and marketing experiences I was encouraged not to use superlatives when promoting things. To do so is to suggest puffery, claims that are insupportable. Well, as the saying goes, rules are made to be broken. in the case of WE ARE CONTINUOUS, the third and final production at Williamstown Theatre Festival this season, the use of superlatives is warranted, and practically unavoidable.

Review: WE ARE CONTINUOUS at Williamstown Theatre Festival
Leland Fowler
Photo by Stephanie Berger
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Simon and his mother, Ora, have always been close. She's been his champion, his defender, and his friend. But when a life-changing secret comes to light, can their bond survive? 2020 WTF Foeller Fellow Tyler Thomas directs this exquisitely wrought WTF-commissioned play by Harrison David Rivers that explores how people can change and how love can evolve.

Review: WE ARE CONTINUOUS at Williamstown Theatre Festival
Brenda Pressley
Photo by Stephanie Berger

Theatre goers in The Berkshires are fortunate in that we often have several high-quality theatrical offerings to choose from. Frequently they include new works with great promise. Rarely, but happily, sometimes of the caliber displayed in WE ARE CONTINUOUS. Despite being relatively small in nature, the piece offers a great deal. The script is brilliantly written. The dialogue is contemporary, relevant, and plentiful. The talented cast includes Brenda Pressley (Mother), Leland Fowler (Son), and Tom Holcomb (Husband). Not once in their skillful presentation of a series of numerous and impressive monologues over the 90-minute presentation do we lose interest. The carefully crafted script uses a well-balanced combination of humor and relatable content to draw the audience in. The consummate professionals seem not to be acting. Their presentations are seamless and strong. They do not appear to be performing at all. Rather, like easy going people we quickly become comfortable with as each shares their stories and "secrets". As the action plays out, audience members become increasingly engaged in the more intimate details of their individual stories and how they become intertwined. Without realizing it, we become transfixed and deeply engaged in the lives of the three characters. Deeply absorbed and concerned, by and for them.

Review: WE ARE CONTINUOUS at Williamstown Theatre Festival
Tom Holcomb
Photo by Stephanie Berger

The creatives and their fine work contribute to the success of the production with both subtlety and strength. The team includes Dots (Scenic Design), Devario D. Simmons (Costume Design), Amith Chandrashaker (Lighting Design), Mauricio Escamilla (Sound Designer), and Paul Vaillancourt (Associate Lighting Designer). Their collective efforts help to develop an environment where the parties are clearly connected, yet separate and distinct. The set pieces are manipulated over the course of the production as if to indicate a rift between them which ebbs and flows.

As stated earlier, Berkshire theatre goers have been fortunate, even during the recently unprecedented times. WTF has become well known as a source, perhaps a leader, of new and emerging work with both great quality and promise. WE ARE CONTINUOUS is a tremendous theatrical experience that represents the latest in a long line thereof. At the final curtain I found myself hard pressed to find words other than WOW. Then a far more visceral feeling washed over me as I processed what had just played out before me. I was touched deeply and felt the stirring that gives one chill bumps that stayed with me for some time. In my opinion WE ARE CONTINUOUS is one of the strongest recent examples and is well worth having waited for. I strongly encourage experiencing it while you can. Performances continue through August 14 on the Nikos Stage at Williamstown Theatre Festival on the campus of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.


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