All for One Theater presents documentarian Elizabeth Van Meter's autobiographical solo show about how we make meaning from loss. More…
While grieving the loss of her younger sister, Elizabeth comes across a photograph of Thao, a young Vietnamese woman who suffered severe birth defects as a result of Agent Orange. Elizabeth is drawn to Thao's amazing spirit, and her quest to fill her rural library. She travels to rural Vietnam to meet Thao, and the two women forge an unlikely sisterhood, transcending language and culture. Van Meter's one-woman play is based on--and incorporates footage from--her documentary of the same name.
"Heartfelt, moving, tragic and uplifting all at once. One of the best plays of the season, Elizabeth Van Meter’s brilliant multimedia performance titled 'Thao's Library' is all of that and more...Nothing can truly prepare you for the emotionally charged—and often humorously told—story that unfolds in the play. Elizabeth Van Meter is incredibly personable and likable on stage...Overall, this is an incredibly moving and powerful piece of live theater." Full Review
“A skillful storyteller using both humor and pathos, Elizabeth is able to fully immerse the audience in her tale. ‘Thao’s Library’ is a gut-wrenching theatrical experience where the tears will flow, but it is also truly uplifting and inspiring. Make sure to see ‘Thao’s Library’ and bring tissues.” Full Review
"Elizabeth Van Meter’s play, 'Thao’s Library', covers much ground...Van Meter has strength, poise, and complete understanding on her side...Comfortable on stage, Elizabeth Van Meter believes in distilling the facts, and remembering the emotion in the struggle...Though Van Meter is the only person on stage, this multi-media play provided the opportunity for Van Meter to work with an empowering team." Full Review
"'Thao’s Library is a sweet story that is destined to tug at your heart...Having knowledge of the source documentary likely helps the stage play, but for those unaware, Van Meter layers in some photos and video. You are almost emotionally ambushed through the use of multimedia. This play is successful due to it. Without it, this story may not have resonated the way it did...Whether you connect with Elizabeth Van Meter or not, you’ll leave the theater eager to learn more about Thao." Full Review
for a previous production "As touching as it is brief...This work was truly simple and yet extraordinarily beautiful....The story was told with such raw power by Van Meter...That power translated into a kind of energy that propelled the piece along and she knew just when to let a particularly striking image or phrase hang in the air...It’s an emotional journey, yes, but you’ll leave the theater with the beautiful image of Thao’s smile forever shining in your memory. " Full Review
for a previous production "'Thao's Library' is a true story that genuinely touches the heart...This is a powerful story that changed both of their lives for the better, and it's receiving a wonderful production...Director Joe Ricci utilizes photos and video to illustrate Van Meter's tale and bring this story to life. It's a fascinating combination that never loses focus and acts to draw our attention to the plight of these people." Full Review
for a previous production "Van Meter is an engaging storyteller and sets the framework for her tale with humor and a breezy style...While it’s a heartfelt story with an uplifting message, somehow Van Meter’s presentation leaves too much of a 'look at what I did' impression, with more focus on her than one might expect. Her instincts are admirable and the results of Thao’s new library are delightful, but a humbler approach might work better in telling this inspirational tale." Full Review
See it if you want to witness something astonishing and raise your hope about human kindness, the power of love and forgiveness.
Don't see it if you don't like shows that make you laugh and cry
See it if you want to watch the cathartic experience of a woman over the loss of her sister.
Don't see it if you want to see theater. Admirably done, this is a solo performance that doesn't resonate the way one would expect.
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