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HomeOperaHeartfelt hilarity amongst two castaway {couples} in Andy Weld's 'Stranded'

Heartfelt hilarity amongst two castaway {couples} in Andy Weld’s ‘Stranded’


What would you do should you have been stranded on a abandoned island?

In some unspecified time in the future, many have been requested this unusual but frequent ice-breaker at one social gathering or one other. Regardless of the seeming randomness of the query, the situation itself is simply sufficient inside the realm of chance to yield genuinely considerate, most of the time satirical, responses.

This uncanny hypothetical has someway crept its approach into all aspects of popular culture, from books to motion pictures and even theater. In his personal distinctive try and seize the distinctive mix of satire and perception that this odd query breeds, Author/Director Andy Weld has repurposed the time-honored desert island situation into the splendidly hilarious however equally insightful Stranded.

Drew Larsen (Jack), Isabelle Solomon (Serena), Sabrina Shahmir (Emma), and Griffin Duy (Harry) in ‘Stranded.’ Photograph by Walker Inexperienced.

Stranded follows two {couples} solid away on an uninhabited island following a freak airplane accident. After 4 months of surviving collectively, the 2 {couples}, whereas navigating the immense stress that comes with such a life-changing accident, have fallen right into a surprisingly comfy rhythm. Nonetheless, this new routine is put to the take a look at because the {couples} proceed to study each other and face new challenges of their relationships that threaten to exacerbate the stress they’re already dealing with.

The play opens as Serena (Isabelle Solomon) makes yet one more, in the end fruitless, try to go away a message for passing planes to come back to their rescue whereas her companion, Jack (Drew Larsen), watches amusedly. Because the play progresses, the opposite couple, Harry (Griffin Duy) and Emma (Sabrina Shahmir), be a part of the pair, and the 2 {couples} proceed to navigate their unusual new dynamic collectively. It’s later revealed that Harry and Emma have an open marriage, and the fallout of this revelation is felt all through the remainder of the present.

From the play’s opening minutes, it’s clear that these two {couples} have real chemistry. Inside every pairing, the actors convincingly painting the tender love and care that exists for them: as Harry gently reassures Emma after she kisses Serena, the viewers is well roped into the honest love and appreciation the pair has for each other. Moreover, though every couple is exclusive of their particular person dynamics, their interactions are equally endearing to the viewers. Whereas Jack and Serena appear to be the strait-laced couple that ultimately learns to discover previous their mutual consolation zones, versus Harry and Emma’s innate spontaneity, each pairs appear to deeply look after one another, which helps the viewers put money into their journey.

Isabelle Solomon (Serena) and Sabrina Shahmir (Emma) in ‘Stranded.’ Photograph by Walker Inexperienced.

Even on their very own, the solid of Stranded is splendidly charming. Every of the 4 castaways has a second within the highlight the place their distinctive character is on full show: from Jack’s dry supply to Harry’s outrageous humor, every member of the solid brings one thing totally different that’s undeniably compelling and completely enhances the others, leading to an extremely cohesive and fun-to-watch present.

Though marketed as a comedy, Stranded is a surprisingly multifaceted and honest expertise. Weld’s comedic prowess is simple as there are numerous hilarious moments all through the present that had the viewers genuinely amused. However because the play delved into its themes of polyamory, sexuality, psychological well being, and trauma, Stranded tactfully explored what it means to like past the standard heteronormative expertise, and in doing this, adopted a tone of real sincerity that elevated the present from simply one other comedy to a genuinely heartfelt expertise.

The technical facets of Stranded are additionally somewhat pleasant and work properly inside the context of the play. Despite the small stage, the set design by Sara Hussey feels as giant because the characters’ dilemma: the scene is about with scraps and driftwood that actually promote the abandoned island locale. The play additionally makes inventive use of lighting and props to additional improve the viewers’s expertise. The lighting path by Jaimie Swann is completely gorgeous and, when paired with the charming hearth that options as a central gathering level for the {couples} throughout night time scenes, actually helps immerse the viewers.

As an entire, Stranded is a pleasant expertise. Despite its (sadly) brief run, its charming wit, charismatic characters, compelling story, and tactful therapy of its themes all work collectively to cement an entirely constructive viewers expertise.

Operating Time: 90 minutes with no intermission.

Stranded performs at 10 pm on November 18 and 19, 2022, introduced by Andy Weld acting at DC Arts Middle (DCAC), 2438 18th Avenue NW, Washington, DC. Buy tickets ($20) on-line. 

COVID Security: Masks are non-obligatory.

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