“What can I do within this world?” ~ Nic, THE HOUR OF ALL THINGS by Caridad Svich
In a riveting, nearly odic, 45 minute solo performance, directed by Zac Kline, Caridad Svich’s protagonist Nic (Blair Baker), a seemingly normal work-a-day woman, relates her own extraordinary story of political arousal. One day while shopping at the market, feelings of strong emotion over the state of the economy and other social ills pervade her with such intensity that she spills tears over her groceries, then spills the groceries to the floor, where they leave scratches. A store manager arrives, takes her aside, makes her take a drink of water, all the while speaking to her patronizingly as if she were quite daft. After charging her for the groceries, he shoos her and her messy emotions out of the store. On her way to work each day, Nic counts steps as a means to keep her thoughts and feelings contained; to remain ‘under the radar’. She wonders if others also count steps as if in a “dance of numbers”. Nic seeks solidarity in her new found awareness. She wants to join voices, to do something about injustices. Joining a protest she found out about online, Nic marches towards her new ideals, possible disillusionment and probable disappointment.
Delivered with haunting sincerity by Blair Baker, imbued by Alyssandra Docherty’s subtle lighting design, several vignettes are stitched together in THE HOUR OF ALL THINGS weaving a fluid, illuminating exploration of what is to feel the need to keep the fear we carry around everyday stored, to feel called to do something about the state of the world, and to be aware of our limitations while yet hoping to be and do, more. It is time well spent.
[Philadelphia Women's Theatre Festival, Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine St.]; July 30-August 1, 2015; phillywomenstheatrefest.org.