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Slide Glide The Slippery Slope

CATEGORY : DRAMA
by Kia Corthron

COMPANY : Synchronicity Performance Group [WEBSITE]
VENUE : 7 Stages [WEBSITE]
ID# 1045

SHOWING : August 13, 2004 - September 12, 2004

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

When 36-year old twin sisters reunite, sparks fly. Human cloning, genetic engineering and mother love combust as Erm and Elo are pushed to decide what makes a family -- blood or choice.


CAST & CREW LIST
props mentor Elisabeth Cooper
Stage Manager Rita Ann Marcec
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Someone Else
by Dedalus
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
5.0
On the basis of seeing just two plays, Kia Corthron is rapidly becoming one of my favorite playwrights. Her “Breath, Boom,” produced by Synchronicity two seasons ago, humanized a “girl-gang” member, and made her struggle for kindness compelling and moving.

Now comes “Slide Glide the Slippery Slope.” Once again, she takes a social issue (cloning and genetic engineering) and humanizes it. Characters embodying opposite viewpoints are developed to the extent that their points of view are not only believable, but unavoidable. This isn’t stagecraft polemics or soapbox grandstanding – this is acknowledging that social issues are complex, filled with shades of gray, not as black-and-white as conservative radio hosts and liberal filmmakers would have us believe.

As an example, we are shown a character, who, after numerous miscarriages, finally gives birth to a daughter. After the daughter dies, she wants to “clone” her, no matter how long it takes for the science to be “perfected.” We later see a dream sequence in which the cloned daughter lets her know exactly what being a “replacement” is like.

For another example, another character, who gave up an autistic child, dreams the boy grown and perfect. She regrets not being able to “genetically engineer” him to the perfection she dreams. His response? “I would have been someone else.”

What Kia Corthron realizes is that social issues are important to talk about. But what’s more important is seeing people we like (or maybe need to grow to like) in situations where they can make us laugh and cry and become angry. She is a master at evoking a wide spectrum of emotions from her characters and situations. That, more than whatever “political” points are being made, is the essence of her work.

Consider the scene where we finally meet the mother of the twins who are the focus of the play. This is a character, who, we have been led to believe, is a monster of a woman. When we meet her (as masterfully played by Carol Mitchell-Leon), she seems to be a nice woman who regrets the actions of her youth. Yet, when the scene finally shows her to be the “monster” we’ve been led to believe, it’s not just anger we feel – it’s pity, sadness, and not a little sympathy. It would be easy to say this is because of the work the actress has done; I believe it’s also because of the way the scene (and its foreshadowing) is written.

There is also a very predictable plot twist that is revealed in a late scene set in a hospital room. Still, when the “revelation” comes, it’s as effective as if it were “out of the blue.” And the scene ends on such a moving note that even recalling it at this late date is stirring.

Special word needs to be said about Shontelle Thrash and Minka Wiltz, the actresses playing the twins who are the focus of the story. They look nothing alike, yet we have no trouble accepting them as twins, even when the dialog focuses our attention on how dissimilar they look. It is a credit to them, and to the direction by Michele Pearce, that we believe them, and want to spend this time with them.

I may have been oversimplifying when I said that there is no political agenda here. There is. It is a plea for acceptance, to love folks for “what they are,” not what we can make them. Perhaps this is why we accept the actresses as twins, why we feel more than anger at the “Monster” Mother, why we are so moved by a simple line in the hospital scene. We are who we, and we deserve love and respect, for who we are.

What this play is, is one of the finest productions Atlanta has seen this year.

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)

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