Wide Eyed Productions and the Mastodon Theatre Company present a play about a young hoarder trapped by her own belongings, and her sister who's trying to help clean up the mess. More…
Unable to throw anything away, Naomi becomes a prisoner in her own home. Her sister attempts an intervention, which unlocks old resentments and secrets, such as the fate of their missing sister, Margo, who disappeared years before.
"Under Stephanie C. Cunningham’s careful direction, these sisters join together to attempt to clean up the apartment of their youngest sibling…Eye-opening, mysterious, and emotional, 'Keep' brings one family’s deepest secrets to the surface as one family embarks on a journey through a (literally) cluttered past." Full Review
"Each sister’s pronounced character is clearly stated through the excellent performances...Lighting, sound, and set design created an engrossing, almost claustrophobic environment that pulled the audience into the scene, effectively portraying the proverbial walls closing in around the characters onstage...It is hard to find a portrayal of hoarding that is nuanced, sensitive without being sensationalized. 'Keep' explores hoarding from a larger, more complex emotional context." Full Review
"Though not broken up into acts, 'Keep' starts out as one play and ends as quite another. In some ways, this is delightful—the situational comedy of the first 45 minutes contrasts nicely with the more grim final movement. Indeed, the only way to tell the story of a family’s journey is to see both the good and the bad—one cannot exist without the other." Full Review
"The first part of the play is solid with fine performances by the ensemble...However, the play falters when it leaves the immediacy of the sisterly dynamic and launches into surrealist, other-worldly terrain...The conceptualization is interesting, but it is not effected with enough grace to hold the second half of the play together as well as the first...The production, rendered with skill by the director, though at times unwieldy, engages overall." Full Review
"The performances are first rate with each handling their monologues with astute honesty...Stephanie C. Cunningham’s direction is psychological interesting...The set by J. Alexander Diaz is too clean. I never felt that it was terrorizing to be in this place or that something was going to crawl out or move...This is Pazniokas’ first work and she is a playwright to nurture and watch, though 'Keep' is not yet there. There are holes in the relationships and too many questions rather than answers." Full Review
"Director Stephanie C. Cunningham guides the action in a way that helps to distinguish the individual personalities of each of the sisters, and the performances themselves are solid. But because we view the situation from within the puzzle box, it is difficult to sort things out...What we are left with is a portrait of a moment frustratingly frozen in time." Full Review
"Francesca Pazniokas’ play is a fascinating exploration of a mental illness...but she sometimes gets lost in language that the plot falters...Individually, each actress brought something different but chemistry was lacking...For the most part, director Cunningham triumphed...When the audience is unsure if it's the end, it's not a good sign. 'Keep's' ending was a telling sign of the piece. Confusion. There is a lot of promise in this piece, the execution was just not where it needed to be." Full Review
"Although simple and subtle, the play lands like a character study, without strong motivations from the characters. Because the characters do not coherently or explicitly stand for something, it is the plot that eventually moves the discussion forward. Pazniokas aims to dive deep into America’s 'disposable society' and the value of human life, but lands somewhere between vaguely characterizing mental illness and grief." Full Review
See it if You want to see a well-acted play dealing with the emotional fear leading to hoarding and the toll it takes on those trying to help.
Don't see it if You are not interested in a play about 2 sisters helping a younger sister with hoarding issues, and secrets that destroyed relationships.
See it if Riveting story about the psychological motivations & challenges of a hoarder, and the impact on those that love and try to help them
Don't see it if If clutter makes you anxious/ uncomfortable.. I also thought the ending did not do the play justice-- it takes a weird turn in the last 15
See it if You're interested in seeing into the mind of a hoarder; if you like more surreal/modern work
Don't see it if Depictions of mental illness upset you; if you don't like to think while watching a show
See it if If you like family dramas and aren't afraid of more taboo subjects being addressed on stage
Don't see it if You don't want to see a cast of all women perform or you like answers for every question the play raises
See it if you want to see show with lots of twists and turns, and if you like to be challenged by a show
Don't see it if you prefer upbeat comedies or musicals to tougher subjects (about hoarding)
See it if An insightful (author had been a hoarder) well written piece of causes & bonds in a family leading to 1 young woman's falling apart, appeals
Don't see it if The subject matter is too taboo or (!) messy. Or, if a play featuring, and about the relationships between, sisters is a turn off.
See it if You like plays about relationships between sisters or ever wondered what really goes on in the mind of a hoarder. Intense and heartbreaking.
Don't see it if You don't want to see sisters behaving like real sisters. squabbling, not always liking, but always there for each other.
See it if The concept of the reasons people become hoarders interests you. The play is very well acted and the set is stunning in its precise detail.
Don't see it if You are not interested in the theme of hoarding as that is this play's only theme. You don't like off off B'way style dramas.
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