Spain, the second of two productions in the Phoenix Theatre’s National New Play Network, is a confusing piece of playwriting. Written by Jim Knable, Spain’s story is centered around Barbara, a woman recently left by her husband, who wakes up one day to find a conquistador in her living room. Alissa Stamatis plays Barbara in ‘Spain.’ Barbara’s fascination with Spain began when her marital troubles started. Now that her husband has left her for a younger woman, it would seem that all the energy she spent romanticizing the country has materialized as one of its icons. When her best friend, Diversion, can also hear and touch the conquistador, Barbara’s fears of being insane are alleviated and she uses the conquistador to pursue her feeling of vengeance against her husband. All of this is followable, but as the play progresses, the feeling of randomness does as well. There is a Mayan wise woman who sporadically shows up and spouts Mayan 101 and nonsequiturs in a strange accent. Barbara’s husband, John, occasionally pulls out a guitar and wanders around the stage with it. Diversion, decked out in a flamenco costume, verbalizes an internal monologue about herself and her Spanish experiences. The motif at the end seems to be about allowing ourselves to die inside or instead letting our fantasies nurture our growth. But the road to get to this revelation is so muddied that the conclusion isn’t satisfying. At one point, Barbara asks, “What is the point of this?” I took that as a mantra for the whole show. The cast does what they can with the script. Alissa Stamatis as Barbara takes her character through a series of emotional snap transitions (wary, liberated, confused …). Adam Davis is a cute conquistador, simple in his desires and observations. James Gross’ set is a lovely combination of stone swathed in gauzy material with spills of flowers; it evokes the feeling of the Old World. The set and the cast were ready, but the script just didn’t deliver. Spain, directed by Dan Scharbrough, continues through July 13 in repertory with phidias8. Call 635-PLAY.

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