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Review: MAZ AND BRICKS at Solas Nua Is Fiery, Sharp, and Timely

Maz and Bricks is a production that absolutely cannot be missed.

Fiery, sharp, timely. Those are the words that first come to my mind after attending Solas Nua's production of Maz and Bricks. As a woman it is easily one of the most relatable pieces of theater in DC right now and the production seems to draw on the very energy of the protests taking place just down the street.

Maz and Bricks tells the story of two people who couldn't be from more opposite backgrounds who meet one fated day at the protest of a young girl who recently died at the hands of the Irish government trying to give herself an abortion. The show features two actors Maz (Emily Kester) and Bricks (Johnathon Feuer) and you could arguably count the protesters that are constantly heard as another character as it felt alive. This is a sinisterly comedic show that shows the intersection between years of government ruling over women's bodies, the women that demand change, and the men that stand in the middle of it all, refusing to take a side because they do not own a uterus.

Kester is terrifyingly electric as she hurls quick, acerbic insults at anything standing in the way of bodily autonomy. At times she seemed to possess the anger of a thousand women who have dealt with this for centuries, using her own body and voice as a vessel to demand change. Kester possesses an incredible capacity to display the human condition, specifically the female condition. The responsibility that is placed on women in the first place, to have to choose when they are in a situation of an unplanned pregnancy and then what happens when you're left with no choice.

Kester brilliantly displays the complexities of the modern woman in a way that brings such incredible humanity and empathy into a situation that simply isn't black and white. Her counterpart, Feuer is just as quick, providing the expert comedic timing and delivery to counter Maz's seldom relenting rage. Feuer's character Bricks is a relatively new dad who does not get along with his daughter's mother in the slightest. He is dumb, goofy, but willing to do anything for his daughter and through Maz he learns that, that may mean taking a stand on women's rights.

One of the beauties of this production is that it is so tangible, Eva O'Connor does an incredible job writing an entertaining story that isn't inconceivable. These characters are easily friends, family members, and people you hear about everyday. Another standout part of the production was Rex Daugherty's directing. For the first half of the production Maz and Bricks do not go near each other and the set is positioned in an arena style. The actors are never next to each other, always across as if they could attack each other at any moment. As they begin to understand each other more they are able to stand closer and closer and finally come together through devised movements, something you wouldn't expect in this production. At times the devised movement is poignant, and directed. Other times the actors seem as though they are a little lost in the movement and lose motivation and direction. Overall I think the devised movement was a great choice for the production and really helped bring a refreshing take on a straightforward story.

Maz and Bricks is a production that absolutely cannot be missed. It unfortunately is eerily relevant but provides a hopeful sentiment that men can become greater advocates and allies in the fight for women to have bodily autonomy. Maz and Bricks runs June 11-26. Tickets can be purchased here.

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From This Author - Elizabeth Seablom