By Sam Mooney
Have you ever noticed that plays based on actual events are always heartbreaking? The Making of St Jerome from eastBoundplayers playing as part of the Next Stage Festival is no exception. The most heartbreaking thing about the play is that there are no answers, not even to the most basic question. Why?
The Making of St Jerome was inspired by the shooting death of 17 year-old Jeffrey Reodica by a plain-clothes police officer in May of 2007.
It’s a play about: grief, guilt, love, remorse, and frustration. The script – by Marie Beath Badian – doesn’t point fingers. It’s an exploration of the search for an answer, for the truth. But truth, as always, remains in the eyes of the beholders. I started by saying this is a heartbreaking play. It is, but doesn’t ever beat you over the head or kick you in the stomach. There’s a fine line between engaging the audience emotionally and beating them up, and Marie Beath Badian stayed on the right side of it. Not easy to do.
The cast is terrific. Byron Abalos delivers a stellar, but never overdone performance as Jason de Jesus, Jeromes’s older brother. He really was perfect. Specifically in his frustration with his younger brother, his guilt, his search for the truth, and his grief.
Christian Feliciano was also wonderful as Jerome. Very 17 year-old boy.
It’s definitely worth seeing.
– The Making of St Jerome is playing until January 17th at The Factory Theatre Studio, 125 Bathurst St
Wednesday, Jan 13 8:30
Thursday, Jan 14 5:30
Saturday, Jan 16 7:15
Sunday, Jan 17 3:30
– Tickets are $12 for shows that start before 7pm, and $15 for shows that start after 7pm. Multi-play passes are also available.
– Tickets are available at the box office or online.
Photo of Christian Feliciano and Byron Abalos by Keith Barker