How do we decide when a stranger’s life is worth more than our own?

In a seaside cottage on the English coast, an old friend, Rose (Rosemary Maciel), stops by to reminisce with Hazel (Cathy Gabrielli). The atmosphere between the two is tense and uncomfortable. One person relaxed while the other is uptight and fidgety. One person asking question after question, while the other seems comfortable with brief impersonal, awkward answers. One person is all too familiar with the surroundings and one content with forgetting.

Their time was 40 years ago when they were younger and had fewer cares in the world. They were nuclear physicists launching a new frontier. There were others, and the man, Hazel’s husband Robin (Dave Anderson). There is always a man. Like a plank of wood balancing atop a triangle, the well-casted trio in the play “The Children” at the Brüka Theatre provides slight glimpses into how they met, how they separated, and how they’ve spent their lives.

Founded on turmoil and reflection, this play, directed by Bob Ives, has us dive into our what-ifs and what-nows. Missed chances and chances to build, create, change, and leave our legacy. Can a generation fix what may have been slowly broken or do we leave others to clean up our mess? Are there things we wish we would have said or done?

The desire to live forever, yet live unstilted and without refrain. Mistakes made and sacrifices to come.

Quiet, reflective, and beautifully balanced with altruism at stake. While my friend dozed off, I didn’t want to miss a word spoken or step taken. This play is perfect for those who love British humor, where everything is so real that you feel as if you’re eavesdropping and you will experience all the emotions — belly laughs, tears, giggles, anxiety — and all the characters are so believable that you leave feeling like you’ve just spent the day with a friend and you’re going to miss them. The actors were excellent while the set and choreography were forgettable.

 

 

If you go:

What: “The Children”

Where:  Brüka Theatre of the Sierra, 99 N. Virginia

When:  Through Feb. 29, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets:  General $24, $25 at the Door

Senior/Student/Military $22

 

Lisa Genasci

Lisa Genasci, theater critic