Chelsea Brynd, portraying Edith as the ominous spirit Obake, played by Mercedes DeGuchy, watches with her minions in the shadows. (Jaclyn Spencer/Clarion)
“Very Still and Hard to See”, written by Steve Yockey and directed by Jason Francescon, took Little Theatre audiences by surprise during its weekend debut.
Utilizing a mixture of uncommon tactics and an intimate company of actors, the growing tension became a tangible entity breathing down everyone’s necks.
One of the elements that contributed to the play’s success was the intimacy of it all.
The Little Theatre created a close-quarters atmosphere between the audience and the cast, serving the claustrophobic settings of the script efficiently. Dimly lit and echoing disconcerting sounds, the technical work did wonders for the ambience.
Not only did the actors have to be intimate with the audience many times even making direct eye contact, normally avoided in usual plays–they also had to be intimate with one other in ways that demand impressive teamwork.
The tone was set immediately with a particularly creepy scene taking place underground. The main antagonist, a brilliantly intense Mercedes DeGuchy adorned in demonic makeup and tattered clothes, stood calling upon and moving in lustful unison with her ghostly cohorts. Any sense of comfort was destroyed immediately. The entire company of actors, scantily clad and donning unnerving white masks, scurried on the floor past the audience members, many of whom were seen lifting their feet in surprise.
The actors showcased the sort of joined synergy that is seen among professionals.
A glaringly emotional scene between Jade Yancosky and Robert Martinez, portraying feuding couple Betty and Ethan, was biting and passionate enough to make a hole of bodies on a kitchen floor seem like a palpable reality.
Director Jason Francescon’s first full time piece was a shining success. “Very Still and Hard to See” promised something different, and delivered.