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October 12, 2015
Review: Unhealthy
Photo credit: Jonathan Marin
Photo credit: Jonathan Marin

Unhealthy, written by Darren Caulley, presents the world of two guys and two girls in their mid-to-late twenties who want to connect, to find their purpose and to be allowed to make mistakes. The female characters in this piece not only drive the plot, but also the scattered humor and the more interesting of revelations.  Celia and Michelle, friends from college, are now roommates in a co-dependent relationship. Michelle, an actress, pays the bills and supports Cecilia through her long-term unemployment and an eating disorder; Celia is the peace-maker and messenger between Michelle and her long-distance boyfriend. Their routine is interrupted when one of Michelle's fans, Maycomb, comes over unannounced to the girls' apartment. Maycomb is mentally unstable, perhaps autistic, and, we sense, prone to violence. To this situation is added Kurtis, an actor friend of Michelle’s who has a romantic interest in Michelle and plays a part in her infidelity.

This Battalion Theatre production has a twist: before each performance the director (Kelly Teaford), or an audience member, announces the role each of the four actors will be playing that night. One of the two actresses (Kullan Edberg and Laura Piccoli) will either play Celia or Michelle, while the actors, Dan Gonon and Gerrit Thurston, will play either Maycomb or Kurtis. This, of course, changes the dynamics of each performance, though it can also create some uncertainty on stage.  With the added challenge of every performance having a different casting, Teaford hasn’t always found the right balance to guide through transitions and scene changes, and there are moments where the performers appear to be reaching for their next line or stage direction. Overall, though, it's a good effort that shows that some relationships are so destructive, it is best not to salvage them.

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Written by: Inna Tsyrlin
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