WIN LOSE DRAW
Written by Mary Gallagher & Ara Watson
Directed by Dorothy Lyman
Presented by Indie Chi Productions & CameIot Artists Productions
Executive Producer: Gary Grossman
Starring: Priscilla Barnes & Diane Civita (Cary)
A word from LA Times...
What the show emphatically is not is a showcase for actresses Priscilla Barnes and Diane Civita (Cary). In Ara Watson and Mary Gallagher's "Little Miss Fresno," they play two mothers rooting for their daughters in a beauty contest for tots. For one (Cary), this is a weekend's diversion; for the other (Barnes), this is war. When good performers inhabit familiar characters like these, they end up looking not so familiar. "The finest quality that one-act plays can project is the sense that we're glimpsing only one scene in a much longer story. "Win/Lose/Draw" reveals such authority legerdemain in not one but all three of its one-acts at the Skylight Theatre.
Watson's "Final Placement" allows the actresses to switch roles in the power struggle: Now Civita (Cary) is the one in charge (at a child welfare office), while Barnes creates an intricately detailed portrait of a wasted young woman who seriously abused her child. The mother wants her child back, but she doesn't even have a chance at gaining visitation rights. By artful suggestion and avoidance of melodrama, Watson, Barnes and Civita (Cary) show that justice can be enjoined with sadness.
In Gallagher's "Chocolate Cake," Barnes and Civita (Cary) play women full of softly comic vulnerability, often reminiscent of Lanford Wilson characters. Jim Kenney's set and Kathy Perkins' lights create a teasingly puzzling opening that only in retrospect is naturalistic.
Civita's tough New York woman and Barnes' sweet-hearted small-town wife never clash as we'd expect. The drama is in how they open up to each other about their needs--gastronomic and other. Dorothy Lyman's directorial hand is so good, it's almost invisible."
-LA TIMES (Robert Koehler)