Whitefire Solofest Presents “Uprooted.” Written and Performed by Vanessa Boss. Directed and Developed by Jessica Lynn-Johnson.
This is a truly magical play.
The play opens with Vanessa as a tree, waving her arms like branches moving in the wind. The tree represents her home, her need to feel secure and rooted in the world. And the wise old tree is in trouble, she needs a forever home.
Vanessa Boss has written a beautiful, mythological play, created to share the story of her young self searching for her place in a world where she has little control over where she goes, when she moves and what she can call home.
As a child, her father moved the family eight times before she graduated high school, which is a lot, especially for a girl as deeply in touch with the universe as Vanessa clearly is. Remaking a home so many times was painful, disorienting and made her little bright soul dimmer and dimmer.
She uses all the voices in her head as wonderful and diverse individual characters who advise and guide and sometimes wreak havoc in her life. Vanessa mesmerizes her audience and connects in such a indefinable, hilarious, deeply moving way that I spent most of the evening either laughing or crying.
Oh and there’s the plane. Vanessa quite brilliantly, I think, used a plane to take us all back and forth between the important moments in Vanessa’s life, from early childhood through high school and beyond. Those times of joy, sadness and disappointment that we all have our own memories of, you know, the ones we lie awake at night remembering.
With the help of her ‘stewardess’ – another brilliant character, giving her the ability to move through time and space with little to no turbulence – Vanessa’s plane was the perfect vehicle to tour her life and to ultimately bring us all safely home.
Vanessa Boss is an absolutely masterful storyteller.
Genuine, open, truthful, authentic and with that magical ability to entertain effortlessly that is rare and precious. Hers is a story that resonates and uplifts as it unfolds so perfectly onstage. Her talent as an actress is only matched by her talent as a writer. I do hope the world will see far more of both. Bravo!!!