I have always thought that we should make more ghosty-type scary plays, and not just in Autumn (although they are great in Autumn), and I think that because, well, theatre can do something with ghost stories that cinema struggles with. It can simply, actually, literally, put you in the room with the terror.
Paloma Nozicka’s new play Enough to Let the Light In with Teatro Vista and Steppenwolf is a thrilling example of just that. The play is first and foremost, chilling. Nozicka’s writing, Georgette Virden’s direction, and Sotirios Livaditis’ scenic design, create the sensation that something frightening could come out at you from any door and any dark corner at any moment.
To say that Nozicka’s play only excels at horror, however, would be selling it massively short. The play achieves something that many writers have tried and failed at. It makes the horror meaningful. The play explores themes of love and loss so deeply that audience members cry and laugh out loud. It leaves you with questions about how we can move on from enormous life traumas. Also, how well do we actually know the people we fall in love with? What is motherhood? What is being a partner? What is trust? What is truth, and what is a lie?
Melissa Duprey and Lisandra Tena both give stunning performances. The play is a magnificent showcase for both actresses as they journey through joy, loss, and horror together. It is impossible not to be glued to their every move and word.
Many of the design elements feel seamless. Courtney Abbot’s intimacy design feels real and effortless. Similarly, Gregory Graham’s costume design is both classy and honest.
Enough to let the Light In is a beautiful evening of theatre, and I absolutely recommend checking it out!
Enough to Let the Light In plays through October 23rd at Steppenwolf Theatre. 1650 N. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60614, (312) 335-1650. For tickets visit: www.steppenwolf.org
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