Darren Caulley’s enthralling story, we follow a quartet of twenty-somethings, each battling their own inner demon, that intersect in a manner that alters each other’s lives immensely. Roommates Michelle and Celia couldn’t be more opposite. Michelle is loved by all and is a star. Celia can’t find anyone or even a job. When a stranger named Maycomb arrives at the apartment, truths come to light about the nature of the stranger and his fascination, Michelle. Having met after seeing her perform, Maycomb believes that he has a loving friendship with Michelle only to find out it’s more of a pity situation. As Michelle arrives home with her costar Kurt to “run lines”, Maycomb’s true nature is revealed. Once the four lives become intertwined, each person’s deepest secrets come to light that triggers reflections of their individual character. Caulley’s script is dangerous and unafraid. Certainly we may find the result to be a little heightened but Caulley comes at the plot with truth. Without diving deep into backstory, Caulley paints a vivid picture of the characters that allows the plot to soar. For the most part with the exception of the roommates, the relationships are all fledgling yet they are genuine. And how each person uses the other is what makes the story tick.
|photo by Jonathon Marin|
By playing with the idea of potentially playing either role of the same gender, director Kelly Teaford was able to pull out something interesting from her company. It allowed the actors see the world of the play through different eyes. It was a very bold risk to take, as the performances may not have been complete. This was not the case. Where Unhealthy fell short was through it’s set. Caulley’s script required an apartment. It could have been simply but the nuances of the Kraine Theater seemed to be the downfall. There is no way to find promise in Caitlyn Murphey's set. It looked like a rundown apartment thrown together which is a bit of a bummer. The attempt to create an extension with doors is noble but being white it was an eyesore. Thankfully the script and the rest of the production made up for it. The sound design by Aidan Meyer included a very interesting blend of music and voices. It was the “uh oh, bad things are coming” cue. It may have been on point but it certainly added to the moment.
Battalion Theatre Company struck gold with Unhealthy. It was ambitious and has the ability to hit close to home. You should be following closely to see where Caulley’s script goes next. It’s good. It’s really really good.