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BWW Review: WOMEN AND ONE ACTS at TAFE-Theatre Arts For Everyone


Laughing to Keep from Crying

BWW Review: WOMEN AND ONE ACTS at TAFE-Theatre Arts For Everyone

In honor of Women's History Month, TAFE (Theatre Arts for Everyone) presents Women and One Acts (and Monologues!) Covid Comedy Edition (laughing to keep from crying). Directed by Vicki Schneider, a cast of talented women take to the screen to introduce us to a variety of characters exploring relatable and humorous situations. The monologues and one acts feature work by Gabriel Davis, Cate Allen, D.M. Larson, and Alice Gerstenberg. With such a variety of stories there is something for everyone in Women and One Acts.

The show kicks off with "Fire the Boys" by Gabriel Davis and starring Allison Fradkin. Fradkin has great expressions, and her performance reminds me of Sally Struthers' character Babette in Gilmore Girls-she's feisty and unapologetically forthright. It sets the tone perfectly for this virtual journey through the frustrations, disappointments, loves, hopes, and dreams of women. The next stop that our journey makes takes a turn to the more serious with "Anything for You" by Cate Allen. Angela Williams and Namita Vakil portray friends meeting at a café. Their conversation uncovers deep emotions and surprising revelations. It's a tough piece, and Williams and Vakil handle it well-moving through the emotions of the scene gracefully and realistically.

The next two pieces, "Forever On Hold" starring Gina Wagner and "Yoga Fart"BWW Review: WOMEN AND ONE ACTS at TAFE-Theatre Arts For Everyone featuring Allison Rambler are hilarious and utterly relatable. Wagner's imitation of automated phone systems as she describes being on hold will have audiences laughing out loud. Her delivery throughout the piece is engaging and authentic. "Yoga Fart" is a delightful monologue, and Allison Rambler's energy is perfect for the piece. As she explains how farting in yoga became an empowering experience, Rambler's portrayal of giddiness and joy is palpable even through the computer screen.

BWW Review: WOMEN AND ONE ACTS at TAFE-Theatre Arts For Everyone D.M. Larson's "Fight the Machine" introduces us to a protester and a computer guy just trying to do his job. Matt Bahn, appearing as the only male actor in the show, takes on the character of the computer professional, while Priscilla Jarrell plays the activist. Bahn and Jarrell are fantastic in their roles-creating a sense of connection even though they are not even in the same physical location. From this adorable meet-cute, the performance takes us into a dream world in "Grow Up Humanity" where Deb Volker pleads with humanity to grow up. Volker's facial expressions and tone of voice make her character seem like a disappointed mother, and everyone who sees this performance will want to be a better human.

While all of the performances are entertaining, the final three really stand out. Stephanie Oelrich is enchanting as Wonder Woman in "Secret Identity". Her matter-of-fact delivery is delightful, reminding us all that it is important to be ourselves and to let those we love know who we really are. Gabriel Davis's "Turkey Day" describes a situation many have likely experienced in their relationships-putting on a front and pretending that things are fine in front of others in order to keep the peace. Brenda Dettry's diatribe about hosting Thanksgiving dinner for her in-laws is performed perfectly. She uses movement and vocal expression to display her dismay and frustration. Finally, "Overtones" features Amber Gamber, Crystal Ganong, SandyBWW Review: WOMEN AND ONE ACTS at TAFE-Theatre Arts For Everyone Harberger, and Annie Susemihl. This one act explores the inner lives of two women. The audience sees and hears not only the external dialogue between Gamber and Harberger but also the internal dialogue performed by Ganong and Susemihl. This performance is wonderful not only because of the way the dialogue is delivered by these talented actors but also because of how it looks visually. While Gamber and Harberger show themselves to be put-together, confident women, Ganong and Susemihl portray their inner selves as quite the opposite. It is a thought-provoking and beautiful performance.

Overall, the staging and virtual experience of these virtual performances is terrific. Director Vicki Schneider, stage manager Gina Wagner, technical stage manager Matt Bahn, and video editor Allison Rambler deserve a round of applause for the seamless transition between pieces and for their work on creating the sense that characters were in the same room even though they were in physically separate locations.

TAFE's Women and One Acts is available through March 22nd. Tickets can be purchased at

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From This Author Andrea Stephenson