Sunday, April 13, 2008

I Have Before Me A Remarkable Document Give To Me By A Young Lady From Rwanda

Photo/Gerry Goodstein

For a week, I've been unable to write this review, wanting desperately to do this play justice. I struggled to describe I Have Before Me . . ., for at a surface glance, it is a tacky: Sonja Linden has created a pretentious yet talented poet to stand in for the playwright, and this poet then instructs (and is instructed by) a fiercely intelligent yet emotionally fragile Rwandan refugee. But it's clear from the writing that Mrs. Linden was shaken to the core by her experiences: knife-sharp slivers of detail in this play cut holes in the facile frame, allowing for a fuller picture. More so, despite some missteps by director Elise Stone (none that are serious), Susan Heyward delivers a performance so textured that the show achieves its self-proclaimed goal: "Good writing makes you see what the writer wants you to see--and feel."

[Read on]

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