Review: WE ARE BLOOD at OCTA Theater

The production runs through November 20.

By: Nov. 19, 2023
Review: WE ARE BLOOD at OCTA Theater

Review: WE ARE BLOOD at OCTA Theater Thought-provoking, humorous, suspenseful, and not your normal holiday story, are the words that best describe WE ARE BLOOD, now playing at the Olathe Civic Theatre Association in Olathe, Kansas. The 90-minute drama written and directed by Ryan Bernsten runs through November 20 at the theater. 

The play takes place around Thanksgiving when relatives get together to enjoy the company of family unless you are one of the most dysfunctional families in Missouri. Meet Kathleen who has brought her son Raymond (mostly against his will) back to the house where she grew up. Waiting for her is her sister Nance and Nance’s daughter Lydia. Kathleen has returned home under the pretense of spending the holiday with family, but she has a much more menacing plot behind the visit. Please don’t worry about Nance and Lydia for their plot for inviting Kathleen and Raymond is even more menacing, some would say downright demonic.

WE ARE BLOOD author Ryan Bernsten is a Kansas City playwright and actor who has appeared on stage at the Unicorn Theatre, and the Barn Players. His play DREAM TICKET received an Excellence Award at the New York Fringe. His play ATLANTIC was a coproduction between his alma mater Northwestern University and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was part of the Edinburgh, Scotland Fringe Festival. He is the author of “50 States of Mind: A Journey to Rediscover American Democracy, “ chronicling his 50-state exploration of political polarization.

Kendra Keller and Kelly Main are marvelous in the roles of the sisters Kathleen and Nance. Kathleen has benefited greatly from a marriage to Frank, Raymond’s father. But as we all know all good things must come to an end, and that goes for fictional characters also. Nance has only benefited from the bottle of liquor she drinks and her monthly disability check.

Then there are the children Raymond played by Luke Knopke and Lydia played by DaniReview: WE ARE BLOOD at OCTA Theater Saunders. Knopke is superb in the role of Raymond who has left college and is distraught over losing his father, being forced out of school, and being dragged halfway across the country by his mother. Saunders brings Lydia to life in a magnificent performance that makes her character seem real, and by the end of the play a little scary. Lydia has a secret, a 14-month-old secret, and she wants the baby's daddy to come back and be with them.

If you think your family has issues, once you see WE ARE BLOOD, you may rejoice over a Thanksgiving turkey being thankful that Kathleen and Nance aren’t your siblings. WE ARE BLOOD continues at OCTA through November 20th. Purchase tickets online at the link below.

Photos by Ryan Bruce