a play written by and featuring Andrew Rothkin with Amanda Szymczak as Meredith presented by White Rabbit Theatre in association with John Chatterton/MITF and the Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival. Juni Li, production stage manager, Production directed by Jay Michaels
“TheaterGoing” by Christopher Sirota
“I want more!” is all I could think of after leaving the theater that still sparkled with words from the little gem of a play called “Meredith’s Ring” last night. I wanted to stay in that world and hear those words of youthful days gone by tap my ears like raindrops against a window pane: sometimes they pound, sometimes they sprinkle, sometimes they drip… in each case the sound seemed magically better than the “back to reality” silence after the applause ended and we shuffled out.
Meredith’s Ring is the story of a once-vibrant kid, now a middle-of-the-road guy who, with each passing bad relationship, remembers his first, greatest, and happiest romance … 26 years ago.
This play will transport you to a world you may struggle to remember, or to forget….but that effort will move you all the same, much like how I felt watching the classic coming-of-teenage film “Stand By Me”. Only this is live theater, with fantastic actors that will make you laugh and often tug at your heart.
Andrew Rothkin wrote the words meticulously and performs them himself. He is the rain that I speak of: the angry storm, the humorous sprinkle, and the melancholy dripping. This past Monday night he gave a tour-de-force performance of a man sharing his angst and joy. Effortlessly, he transitioned from his present self to past self and back again. Amanda Szymczak plays Meredith, and without spoiling the plot, she is Andrew’s character’s counterpart. Amanda’s performance was also dazzling and dynamic. Her character perhaps carries the words of the play more like the wind to his rain: she gusts, she breezes, and she fills his sails at times. The play tells the story of the importance of a ring to Andrew’s character, and the unraveling happens so naturally, you hardly notice the hour that passes.
The lighting and music accurately handled by Juni Li also seemed to be completely natural, and logical, adding to the experiences of the flash-back storytelling. This style story telling was directed with aplomb by Jay Michaels, so much so that you would hardly say it was traditional flash-back, since the forward momentum of the play was, amazingly, never broken. Also notable is a sexy scene that is wonderfully both sensitive and humorous. The staging was spartan, but effective, using few props cleverly to convey the feelings of the moment.
In the end, much like the characters, I longed for more…in a good way. The last two performances are March 1@6pm, and March 3@2pm