Dawna J. Wightman returns to Toronto with her tour de force solo play Life As A Pomegranate
What is your truth? Dawna J. Wightman implores us to consider it with her play Life As A Pomegranate. She greets us with this question as she greets us on stage at the Red Sandcastle Theatre, and then delivers a performance of pure energy and pure honesty.
The small stage is sparse with props but that is entirely alright as any more would take away from the show. Life As A Pomegranate gifts us the story of Rosie Fudge, aspiring actress, guilty daughter, lovingly dedicated mother, and unappreciated wife. We experience Rosie over 20 years and it is the very essence of a journey as she must traverse the quirky and sometimes harsh social landscape of a small town, battling her inner demons and balancing family life, while trying not to give up on her dream.
Dawna J. Wightman is a tour de force, playing nine characters and making each their own. She easily jumps from character to character with ease and I was impressed, as their diversity makes that no easy feat. Of particular note are her inner critic (S.O.B.), her neighbor Slow Mau, Maureen Parker, and the mother character, Ma.
Production was limited to lighting and a few sound cues, and I agree with these decisions because it allows us to focus on Dawna being brilliant with reckless, yet also focused, abandon.
Life As A Pomegranate has graced stages in New York and Toronto Fringe in years past and I was happy to hear that audiences got to experience Dawna perform these characters, this story, and its message. Life is beautiful, even if to find that beauty we need to experience heartache, heartbreak, self-doubt, self-loathing, crises of motherhood and wifedom. Laughter must always win, as it does with Rosie, because if you don’t give up you never fail.
While Life As A Pomegranate only has one more night, I do hope that Dawna brings it back again for a longer run. I am happy to hear that she has another show, A Mickey Full of Mouse, coming up in December as well, which I can only hope is infused with as much feeling, truth, and energy as this one.
- Life As A Pomegranate is playing until September 12th at the Red Sandcastle Theatre (922 Queen St. E)
- Shows ran September 10, 11, and 12 at 7pm
- Tickets are $20, and can be purchased at the venue and reserved by calling (416) 845-9411
Photo of Dawna J. Wightman provided by the company