Thursday, 20 September 2012 01:41


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Collaborative Artists Ensemble presents


Written by Carson McCullers
Directed by Steve Jarrard

Opening at The Raven Theatre on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood for a limited run is Carson McCullers’ play, THE SQUARE ROOT OF WONDERFUL, directed by Steve Jarrard. You may know Southern writer Carson McCullers from her critically acclaimed and wonderful novels THE HEART IS A LONEY HUNTER, and THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING. Originally performed in 1957 on Broadway, this play by McCullers was a very personal project for her mirroring her own obsessive relationship with her abusive ex-husband, as well as issues surrounding suicide and mother/son relationships.

Mollie Lovejoy (Meg Wallace), twice divorced from the same man, picks up stranger John Tucker (Ryan Gangl) on a country road after his car has broken down. She is raising her son, Paris (Sean Eaton) on an apple farm just outside New York City. John, an architect, is immediately attracted to Mollie and a relationship develops between them. At one time, Mollie’s ex-husband Phillip (Ned Liebl) had a successful writing career. Not being able to regain this notoriety, he has descended into a “darkness” resulting in a mental breakdown. Now, he has just been released from a sanitarium and returns to the farm to convince Mollie to remarry him for the third time. Phillip feels that Mollie is the only one to help him “get back on his feet”, and Mollie, now committed to John, tries to reason with Phillip to make him understand that she is not interested in resuming their relationship. Phillip tries to force Mollie to reconsider, physically pushing her around. But Mollie, who believes she is “under a love spell influenced by witches” and continues to be obsessed with Phillip, at first succumbs to his advances, then becomes scared by his irrational behavior. Someone needs to tell Mollie she can’t reason with a crazy person!!!

Mollie is visited by Phillip’s sister Loreena (Carolyn Crotty) and his wacky Mother Lovejoy (Helen Wilson). Loreena and Mother Lovejoy give us a chance to breathe, and further enhance family relationships. Hattie Brown (Marie Odabashian, one of two actors in this role), as Paris’ friend, rounds out the cast of characters. Steve Jarrard delivers fine direction bringing us to the emotional brink. Whether I agree with Mollie’s obsession is not important. What is important is that we become tired of her obsession and, after three acts, you hope she wakes up to regain something of herself. This play is reported to be Carson McCullers experience, and her excellent writing throws us into the deep end of her profoundest thoughts. Carson McCullers is a great writer, and this play is an excellent play. It is just too long, and could have reached a conclusion at least ½ hour earlier. It is also a very hard play to do and all the actors do a first-rate job. One comment here. Several of the actors were almost inaudible. Please speak up so you can be heard past the first row of this small theatre.


Cast: Carolyn Crotty, Sean Eaton, Ryan Gangl, Ned Liebl, Matiana Parra, Marie Odabashian, Meg Wallace and Helen Wilson.
Director: Steve Jarrard
Stage Manager: Robert Woods
Set Design: Steve Jarrard
Publicist: Nora Feldman
Board Op: Ashleigh French

The Raven Playhouse
5233 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

Buy Tickets:
Or (323) 860-6569

General Admission:
$20; Students/Seniors: $15


September 14th – October 14th
Plays: Friday and Saturday at 8pm
Sunday at 7pm

Running Time:
135 minutes & two intermissions

Ample street parking Lankershim, Magnolia and side streets Metered parking Monday – Saturday until 6pm (please read parking signage)

Read 4165 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 September 2012 05:55

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