BWW Review: REWIRING EDEN at Capital Fringe Festival
Resurrecting and redefining the misunderstood women of myth and history is not breaking ground for a Fringe Festival in the #MeToo era, but Rewiring Eden manages to make its mark with a thoughtful enough conceit - what if all of those women had the opportunity to meet one another? The setting for this loaded occasion is, naturally enough, the Garden of Eden. The Biblical Lilith (Rebecca Rose Vassy) and Eve (Star Bobatoon) are recast as two doty old aunts who manage their local community garden. When they take in a wayward traveler, Veronica (Rebekah D. Mason), an entire cast of misused and misrepresented women wanders in, sharing their stories on their own terms. While each actor gives an admirable portrayal of their character, the script becomes a bit crowded. Veronica, in particular, is under-utilized as she plays exposition fairy each time a new woman appears on the scene. The resolution to her story would ring more true, if we were given better glimpses into her life as the play evolves. Bobatoon and Vassy have an easy, natural chemistry between them. You can definitely imagine them as bickering sisters, whose bark is worse than their bite.
As is the case with most plays in this vein, it helps to have some background knowledge of the women in question. Lead writer Jenny Oberholtzer, in collaboration with the actors, has crafted a script that includes women that you do not see mentioned often in pop culture, such as Jochebed (another Biblical figure, she is the mother of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam) and Medea (do not confuse her with Medusa).
Set designer Rebecca Fischler has created a wonderland of light and life that fits the scene and allows for a natural flow of action. Costume designer Emily Mullin crafts a unique, timeless look for each character, serving, but never overshadowing, their story. Pulling it all together is director Victoria Glock-Molloy, who infuses an almost balletic quality into the entire production.
Eve Star Bobatoon / Medea Noa Gelb / Veronica Rebekah D. Mason / Morgan le Fay Carol McCaffrey / Jochebed Denise Sanchez / Lilith Rebecca Rose Vassy
Director Victoria Glock-Molloy / Lead Writer Jenny Oberholtzer / Producer and Set Designer Rebecca Fischler / Costume Designer Emily Mullin
The Coil Project's Rewiring Eden has three remaining performances: Tuesday, 7/16, at 6:30 pm; Saturday, 7/20, at 7:15 pm; and Thursday, 7/25, at 6:30 pm. More information and tickets are available at CapitalFringe.org.