As one of the first critics to review this brand new play, what did I think?

By: Jun. 01, 2023
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The Weight of Everything We Know centers on the scientific shift in May 2019 to base a kilogram’s mass on mathematical precision instead of physical weight. That shift was a breakthrough in human knowledge but a complete disaster for Lucia and Darrow, a couple on a Bumble date. This is a world premiere production for the play. Author Allan Maule worked on it when the manuscript was selected for the competitive 2022 N.C. Playwrights Lab held at Theatre Raleigh last summer.

On paper, you’d think a play exploring this subject matter wouldn’t be all that interesting. However, through Allan Maule’s clever writing, it manages to keep the audience's attention from beginning to end. The arc of Darrow & Lucia’s relationship is quite a rollercoaster ride. At first, it’s hard to see how they could possibly wind up together. Yet as the play goes on, they really grow feelings for each other. Both of the lead characters may have their own individual moments where they basically provide exposition, but it’s handled in such creative ways. Like a TV screen is brought out on stage to show everyone what the characters are talking about.

Under Michael Berry’s direction, he keeps everything in his staging suggested. He has Sonya Leigh Drum’s sparse set put to great use. When we first meet our main characters, it’s easy to tell that they’re supposed to be in a bar. Later on, it’s easy to tell that they’re supposed to be in an office. I really love minimalist directing like that because it allows the director to be more creative and lets audiences fill in the gaps themselves. Not to mention that the lighting designed by Andrew Parks proves to be quite effective. Both lead performances are first rate. Jeff Ronan is very charismatic as freelance writer Darrow while Shubhangi Kuchibhotla is very sassy as scientist Lucia.

For those who are planning to catch Theatre Raleigh’s production of The Weight of Everything We Know, you should consider yourselves very lucky. You’ll be among some of the very first people to see Allan Maule’s thought provoking play before anyone else in the world. I may not be able to predict what’s in store for its future, but I hope it finds success through subsequent productions. The whole thing is funny and pretty moving. Did I mention that it’s also only 80 minutes long and well paced? The Weight of Everything We Know is currently playing at TR Studio Theatre through June 11th.

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