“Brilliant Traces” by Cindy Lou Johnson is a story about two people trapped together during a white-out in Alaska. During this white-out, these two people share their stories with one another, stories that have made them who they are. On top of that, a little romance ensues as heated arguments turn into romantic impulsive moments.
Jeff Wolfthal, a junior, plays Henry, a man who has been through struggles in his life that have caused him to distance himself from life and people. He lives like a hermit in Alaska, leaving only to work on an oil rig. Rosannah, played by sophomore Mariah Mammas, is lost and confused. She has just left her wedding, and shows up at Henry’s door looking for salvation from the blizzard.
Throughout the course of the play, Henry and Rosannah reveal to each other, as well as the audience, why they are the way they are. Struggles and tragedy are definitely the source of this drama. What is interesting is that the characters seem to be meant for each other, even if they do not realize it at first.
The lights really add to the show, you could tell when a character was in an emotional state because a blue or red light would encompass them while they were speaking. The wind played on and off throughout the show, during certain monologues, it really added to the feeling of eeriness.
Both actors are very talented. They had the audience’s full attention as they told their stories. Both Mariah and Jeff have been seen on the Rafter’s stage before, but this was, for both of them, the first time in a starring role. As the stage manager I have seen them both progress so much since auditions and I am confident, although maybe slightly biased, in saying that these two actors were by far the best choice for these roles.
This show was directed by Michael Swanson, who is a professor at Elizabethtown College. His knowledge and visions for this show were very inspiring and the show definitely shows this. He pushed the actors to feel their characters, which is evident in the final product.
Another very interesting part of the show was the involvement of stage combat. For those of you out there who may not be so into theatre, I think the stage combat really gives this show something extra. Rosannah isn’t afraid to throw Henry around, which is something Rafter’s has not seen in quite some time.
Opening weekend was a little slow, ticket wise, but the actors put on a show for the audience that was as if the house was packed. If you missed this past weekend’s shows, you are still in luck. There is still time for you to catch a show next weekend. Rafter’s theatre will be showing Brilliant Traces again on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and on Sunday at 2 pm. If you miss this show, you are not only missing a good story, but the last chance at theatre for this semester, so do your best to make it out.