Workshop Theater Company
By KEN JAWOROWSKI
WorkShop Theater Company, Main Stage Theater, 312 W. 36 St. bet. 8th and 9th Aves., 4th floor
October 7 – October 30, 2010
Directed by THOMAS COTÉ
Scenic Design CRAIG NAPOLIELLO
Sound Design DAVID SCHULDER
Lighting Design YURIY NAYER
Costume Design CATHERINE SIRACUSA
Stage Manager JOHN NEHLICH
Fight Director GIOVANNI VILLARI
Publicity SCOTTI RHODES
Frank – Daniel Damiano
Don – Gerry Goodstein
Professor Unsworth – Jeff Paul
Victor – David M. Pincus
Job Rep/Woman/Marcie – Shaun Bennet Wilson
Letty – Cecily Benjamin
Marie – Wende O’Reilly
Janson – Riley Jones-Cohen
Simon – Sean Singer
Professor Belleville – Liz Amberly
INTERCHANGE is in the genre of the converging-plot drama. Seemingly disparate characters and lives intertwine and converge, with life-changing results for more than one. Here, writer Ken Jaworowski has made strides at presenting characters that are more individual than archetypal. There are no all-good or all-bad characters here, no villains or heroes, though there are some make genuine efforts for good, and others that are not difficult to dislike.
At the start of INTERCHANGE, the audience is introduced to Don, a bit of a curmudgeonly character who has just been asked by his dying son, Frank, to soften up when he has to care for his grandson. Don takes this request seriously, and when he is later asked by a colleague, Letty, to travel out of town, a series of unfortunate choices result. Letty and her boss, Marie, are self-serving characters. Letty initially seems more sympathetic, but there is simply not enough nuance to the character to sustain that.
While the Don plot is unfolding, the audience is also juggles plot threads about a recently-paroled white collar criminal, Victor, who is struggling to find work and the various women in his life (all portrayed by Shaun Bennet Wilson); a young man, Simon, who is convinced that Victor’s crimes killed his father and seeks revenge; and about the timid Professor Unsworth, quietly pursuing the affections of colleague Professor Belleville.
Some of this is unsettling, particularly the unraveling of Victor, and the eventual encounter he has with Don. However, the Professor Unsworth thread is both sweet and touching, nicely played by actor Jeff Paul, and injecting some redemptive humanity into a play with some very dark facets of life being presented front and center.
Mr. Jaworowski presents some interesting material through his characters in INTERCHANGE. Perhaps what is most disquieting is that the darkest scenes, and most ruthless behavior is actual occurring in real life, everyday, all around us. So, while not escapist entertainment, INTERCHANGE is definitely food for thought.
- Kessa De Santis -