MAGIC FOREST FARM: World Premiere at Marin Theatre Company MAGIC FOREST FARM: World Premiere at Marin Theatre Company

Laura Morache as Allegra and David Cramer as Gabby in MTC’s World Premiere of Magic Forest Farm by Zayd Dohrn


MAGIC FOREST FARM by Zayd Dohrn, directed by Ryan Rilette. Marin Theatre Company, Lieberman Theatre, 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941.

(415)388-5208 or www.marintheatre.org. April 22 – May 17, 2009


WORLD PREMIERE OF MAGIC FOREST FARM IS READY TO BLOSSOM


There is the proven axiom that playwrights should write about that which they know. Zayd Dohrn is the son of William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, founders of the 1960s radical Weather Underground group. He was born and raised in communes across the country. The Magic Forest Farm of the title is a fictional commune and all of the characters have lived or do live there. Using a non-linear construction and slide projections, Dohrn is able to traverse time attempting to bring clarity to the story line. In some of the multiple short scenes, he juxtaposes simultaneous dialog attempting to give contrast and depth to the action. Rather than flowing smoothly, there is confusion that does not allow the talented actors to invest their roles with verisimilitude. However, this first MTC Sky Cooper New American Play Prize winner, is ready to blossom and worth seeing.


Allegra (Laura Morache) is a 16-year-old who was born in the commune but taken from there by her parents Marvin (Robert Sicular) and Eleanor (Julia Roberts) for a conventional life in La Jolla. For unexplained reasons, Allegra feels alienated and after one night of dancing and drinking on the beach, ending with an “almost sexual” encounter she has an unsatisfactory almost heart-to-heart with her mother before she steals the car and returns to the commune. There are only two members remaining, Old charismatic Gabby (David Cramer) and Swan (Anna Bullard) an attractive free spirited young person.


Marvin and Eleanor arrive with their pre-med student son, Ben (Avery Monsen) who is physically attracted to Swan whom he has known from childhood. With free sex and marijuana being an integral way of life in a commune, the question of who are the children’s parents is the mystery that will be solved. (In a flashback scene, Marvin to Ben: “You’ve got to stop making people pregnant.”).


Dohrn writes very cogent dialog that sparkles in the confrontation scenes between Gabby and Marvin that David Cramer and Robert Sicular handle with aplomb. Laura Morache, Anna Bullard and Avery Monsen all give creditable performances but Julie Brothers does not have a part that requires much acting. The direction lacks continuity and may be due to the restraints of the small Lieberman Theatre. Scenic and lighting designer Jeff Rowlings has created a serviceable and attractive set.

Running time 80 minutes without intermission.

Kedar K. Adour, MD

Courtesy of www.theatreworldinternetmagazine.com


MAGIC FOREST FARM by Zayd Dohrn, directed by Ryan Rilette. Marin Theatre Company, Lieberman Theatre, 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941.

(415)388-5208 or www.marintheatre.org. April 22 – May 17, 2009


WORLD PREMIERE OF MAGIC FOREST FARM IS READY TO BLOSSOM


There is the proven axiom that playwrights should write about that which they know. Zayd Dohrn is the son of William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, founders of the 1960s radical Weather Underground group. He was born and raised in communes across the country. The Magic Forest Farm of the title is a fictional commune and all of the characters have lived or do live there. Using a non-linear construction and slide projections, Dohrn is able to traverse time attempting to bring clarity to the story line. In some of the multiple short scenes, he juxtaposes simultaneous dialog attempting to give contrast and depth to the action. Rather than flowing smoothly, there is confusion that does not allow the talented actors to invest their roles with verisimilitude. However, the play the first MTC Sky Cooper New American Prize winner is ready to blossom and worth seeing.


Allegra (Laura Morache) is a 16-year-old who was born in the commune but taken from there by her parents Marvin (Robert Sicular) and Eleanor (Julia Roberts) for a conventional life in La Jolla. For unexplained reasons, Allegra feels alienated and after one night of dancing and drinking on the beach, ending with an “almost sexual” encounter she has an unsatisfactory almost heart-to-heart with her mother before she steals the car and returns to the commune. There are only two members remaining, Old charismatic Gabby (David Cramer) and Swan (Anna Bullard) an attractive free spirited young person.


Marvin and Eleanor arrive with their pre-med student son, Ben (Avery Monsen) who is physically attracted to Swan whom he has known from childhood. With free sex and marijuana being an integral way of life in a commune, the question of who are the children’s parents is the mystery that will be solved. (In a flashback scene, Marvin to Ben: “You’ve got to stop making people pregnant.”).


Dohrn writes very cogent dialog that sparkles in the confrontation scenes between Gabby and Marvin that David Cramer and Robert Sicular handle with aplomb. Laura Morache, Anna Bullard and Avery Monsen all give creditable performances but Julie Brothers does not have a part that requires much acting. The direction lacks continuity and may be due to the restraints of the small Lieberman Theatre. Scenic and lighting designer Jeff Rowlings has created a serviceable and attractive set.

Running time 80 minutes without intermission.

Kedar K. Adour, MD

Courtesy of www.theatreworldinternetmagazine.com

Laura Morache as Allegra and David Cramer as Gabby in MTC’s World Premiere of Magic Forest Farm by Zayd Dohrn