Written by Dorian Palumbo
@The Dramatist Guild
Review by Amanda Kavaja
Digging deep into the unknown calls comes with consequences. Despite their different cultures, religions, and ethnicity, six women share one thing in common… and that is hope. As they turn towards spiritual rituals and “divination” which becomes their outlet for escaping their real-world problems.
We start to see the characters and their reasons for being in the class unfold as the play does. We find Tara Cornfield, a woman who insecure after her divorce, working each day, in a highly successful firm but not being appreciated. After performing a ritual incorrectly, she unfortunately makes her life and those lives around her worse. Michelle, the new girl in class, going through changes in her life finds comfort in spirituality and being surrounded by five diverse women from various cultures with five different problems. Michelle also hopes to be released from oppression because of her skin color. Tara, another student in the class, lacking in self-confidence, which caused her to become selfish, only caring about herself and reaping the fallout from that struggles to learn. Geri, the leader of the class, who, as a Scottish medium and a talented psychic and spiritualist, was the most fleshed out and interesting. This play packs – through Geri – its own lessons for its audience on and off stage: the lesson of patience and buoyancy. Whenever something had gone terribly, Geri endeavored to fix the situation and leave all in a good state. Other characters include Giovanna, an Italian woman whose husband had been diagnosed with cancer (well-written and well-placed humor made the face of tragedy more digestible); Badria, a Muslim woman portrayed as elegant and peaceful; and Louise, utterly whimsical, most concerned about organizing her wedding while having second thoughts over it.
Dorian Palumbo brought together a well-planned bag of diversity and artistry into this five-star reading. The ensemble of talented actresses took Ms. Palumbo’s prose and personified friendship and support (and the struggles of life) brilliantly. Ken Coughlin tied the entire thing together with intimate bits of staging and spot-on timing.