Grief is a universal emotion. We all feel it and if we haven’t already, we all will.
These days it seems like a permanent national state of being. But dealing with it is something that is as intimate and as deeply and individually personal a thing as anything could ever be. Some people drink, some people sob, some people hide it all away only to find it explode around them unexpectedly and much, much later. The one certainty is that it will take its own very particular shape in everyone and then shape you.
This one-man play is an exploration of a tortuously difficult time in one man’s life after the loss of his young daughter to leukaemia. Alone in his apartment, he is at the end of a month-long leave of absence after losing her and it seems as if he has drunk his way through most of it. The loneliness, isolation and grief have taken their toll on him and, in his despair, he reaches out to the only thing he feels connects him to his daughter, her toys.
Hosea Chanchez has written a profoundly moving play. He navigates this terrible time with warmth and wit and honesty that brings both levity and tragedy to the stage of The Hudson. An accomplished actor, Mr Chanchez plays this broken character as an everyman. He gives him life along with this death. He fills him with a sad humanity, struggling to survive something which many of us, I think, could not. The toys he befriends, just as his daughter did, to bring him some solace, some peace, understanding and forgiveness as he delves deep into his own childhood to examine why he isolates himself even now when it could hurt him the most.
It’s a beautiful piece, a brave forage through dark moments and darker memories. Mr Chanchez skillfully and with great pathos lays bare his soul as he seeks answers and reasons and release. Who among us would not go a little mad if we lost a child? Who among us wouldn’t die a little inside if as a child ourselves we were broken?
We do whatever we can to survive grief, we can never get over it, only get through it and hope to feel it less acutely as time passes. But it never leaves us. Perhaps there is a way to let it be, to understand that it is necessary for us to feel it, if we want to remember love. Bravo to Mr Chanchez for creating this elegant and very human moment for us to share the possibility.
Written and performed by Hosea Chanchez
Directed by Christopher Richards & Danielle Mone Truitt
Running August 11 through September 8, Saturdays at 3pm, Sundays at 8pm
The Hudson Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038