Susan Bernfield, Artistic Director
Sarah Cameron Sunde, Managing Director
ANNA BELLA EEMA
a ghost story for three bodies with three voices
By Lisa D'Amour
HERE Arts Center
145 Sixth Ave.
(212) 647-0202 or www.here.org
September 12 – October 4, 2003
Running in repertory with BELLY: THREE SHORTS (Sep. 6 – Oct. 4)
Directed by Katie Pearl
Music by Chris Sidorfsky
Sets Cameron Anderson
Lights Mark Barton
Costumes Olivia Wildz
Sound Greg Wildz
Press Representation JIM BALDASSARE
Monica Appleby, Gretchen Lee Krich, April Matthis
In a whirlwind narrative by Lisa D’Amour called ANNA BELLA EEMA, three actors tell an intriguing, beguiling tale of creation, womanhood, anima, loss and survival.
A most adult type of fairy tale ghost story, one set in a world where the local cop is actually Frankenstein post social services intervention, where a pile of mud can transform into a girl, and where the animal within us has a life of its own, ANNA BELLA EEMA blends story, song and imagination to impressive effect. On the surface, the tale is one of a reclusive mother and her 10-year-old daughter living in a trailer park that is doomed to destruction for the sake of a highway. The mother is odd, and does not go outside, but has introduced her daughter to books and unconventional thinking. All seems simple enough until the girl, Anna Bella, makes a girl, Anna Bella Eema, out of dirt.
Delivered with precision and humor by the three skilled performers, ANNA BELLA EEMA has a rhythm that adds charm to the production and wit to the words. As the story unwinds, and the family is threatened with eviction, Anna Bella goes on a magical journey with the wild things during the five days that her first period last. She returns, not so much a woman as a girl warrior, ready to defend house, home and mother, and to take on the world.
It is difficult to tell more without telling too much and muddling the intentions. ANNA BELLA EEMA, another impressive production by New Georges, is one of those plays that has to be seen to be understood. It is so much more than the words on the page.
- Kessa De Santis -