Mute (An Act of Pluffie / BergARTS) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

A teenage girl named Jenna, who is mute due to post-traumatic stress disorder, and her protective brother are visited in their home by a social worker. She comes bearing the news that if Adam cannot prove that she is improving in his care, the siblings will be separated.

This play has strikingly rich soundscapes. The thoughts and noises inside Jenna’s head are demonstrated to the audience through this soundtrack. The sound and lighting effects helped to illustrate Jenna’s memories.

The delicate, well-written play is by Vancouver-based Wren Handman. The dramaturge, Ilana Lucas, did a great job of maintaining the essence of the play and also of researching post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mute became increasingly emotional and I had great desire for the characters to find happiness in their lives. Though the material is serious, there are a few jokes in the play as well – which is good for easing all that tension. I was nervous at first because I wasn’t sure if the ending would satisfy me. Luckily, I found the climax and resolution leaving me very fulfilled.

I asked around after the play and one audience member really enjoyed the play and was impressed the girl who played Jenna. I agreed – it can be difficult to play someone in a manic state without coming across as a little silly. I thought all three cast members were extremely strong and brought the depths of their characters to life.

For a Fringe show, there is great detail in the lighting, sound, and even the props. I would say that those elements are great strengths of this show (the very first one I attended!) and would definitely recommend this play.

Details

Director: Michael F Bergmann

Co-producer: Rachelle Magil

Cast: Caitlin Morris-Cornfield as Jenna, Andrew Soutter as Adam, Rachelle Magil as Ms. Dorse

Genre: Play, Drama

Venue: The Annex Theatre, 736 Bathurst Street

Performances:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 – 10:30pm

Saturday, July 9, 2011 – 9:15pm

Sunday, July 10, 2011 – 3:00pm

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 – 8:45pm

Thursday, July 14, 2011 – 4:00pm

Friday, July 15, 2011 – 7:30pm

Sunday, July 17, 2011 – 12:00pm

Ticket Price: $10.00

Tickets: www.fringetoronto.com / (416) 966-1062

Advance Ticket Box Office at The Fringe Club, 581 Bloor St. W.

 

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