BWW Preview: IN A WORD Sets the Stage with Woman Power and Wordplay at Mildred's Umbrella Theatre Company
IN A WORD premiered to glowing reviews in San Francisco, hometown of its playwright Lauren Yee. And the captivating new play continues to gain momentum with a Houston premiere at the Mildred's Umbrella Theatre Company stage.
In pursuing the Mildred's Umbrella Theatre Company mission to promote the works of women and present new plays written by female writers, Artistic Director Jennifer Decker stated she "must have read over 75 plays trying to find the perfect ones for the season", and ended up selecting IN A WORD for its various attractive and intriguing elements. Decker claims this new play is "intelligent, weird, heartbreaking and funny, and it was written by a young woman who already has a fantastic body of work on her resume". Meaningful, thought-provoking theatre written and directed by powerful women? Sign me up!
IN A WORD begins exactly two years from the day Fiona and Guy's son disappeared, an occurrence that has understandably shaken Fiona to be ever in pursuit of her lost son and the answers to illogical mysteries that follow his disappearance. Director Troy Scheid articulates "the play is a poetic mystery, a portrait of a marriage, a word puzzle, and a comedy". IN A WORD seems to have something for everyone, a little mystery here, a little heartache there, and a touch of comedy with wordplay and covert meaning woven all throughout. However, this play does not merely promise a mediocre evening of entertainment, rather, Scheid notes that IN A WORD is "a play that demands a lot from the audience--observation, listening, and intelligence. The play loves language and does a devastating job of exploring how the grief that follows catastrophe can seem to rob the world of meaning--and even chance the meaning of language".
As recurrent words in the script continually take on more meaning and weight, the actors and audience alike are able to discover "the full potential of what is 'in a word'". Scheid explains that IN A WORD is able to fulfill the mission of theatre by granting people the chance to "find empathy for those we wouldn't choose to be in real life, whether they are new parents just trying their best, a difficult child, or a frat-boy pal who never seems to grow up".
If the description above isn't encouragement enough to grab your tickets to IN A WORD, Decker can convince Houston audiences in just seven words: "We thought Houston deserved to see it".
IN A WORD opens on July 27 and continues through August 12. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:00pm, with a matinee Sunday, August 6 at 3:00pm and a Pay What You Can performance on Monday, August 7 at 8:00pm. General admission is $25, and $15 discount tickets will be available for students, senior citizens, and those in the arts industry. To purchase tickets for IN A WORD, please visit Mildred's Umbrella Theatre Company's website at mildredsumbrella.com or call the Box Office at 832.463.0409.
Photo by Gentle Bear Photography.