Explore Love“™s Flames and Ashes in Know Theatre“˜s Dragon Play

Review by Liz Eichler of Dragon Play: Know Theatre

Dragon Play runs past Valentine“™s Day (through February 18), and it is perfect for young lovers, old marrieds, and everyone who has had a history of love. Love means joy, but often great sacrifices. One moment of great joy can change your life forever. How long can you live with that sacrifice before it changes you into a completely different being? Can you, and do you want to, return to the person you were before? Playwright Davis slices through muddled feelings and writes the truths down in blood. Both human and dragon characters slice through the pain and joys of love, loss and longing. The whole play will move you““to tears, or to take action with the dragons in your life.

Dragon Play is about a young boy in rural Texas who meets a wounded dragon, and falls in love. Thousands of miles north, a woman“™s marriage is tested when her fire-breathing ex-lover shows up at her home. These two stories intertwine to encourage the audience to ponder the meaning and costs of “œlove, longing and moving on.“

Director Tamara Winters has assembled a great team to tell this story. Every member of the cast delivers a strong performance, although newcomer Kearston Hawkins-Johnson steals the show with her “œsinewy and strong“ Dragon Girl. Josh Reiter as the earnest Boy/Loser Boy nails every laugh. Claron Hayden (Dragon) smolders with intrigue. Torie Wiggins is a smart Woman, torn by the flutterings of her heart, married to a good Man (Paul Strickland) who doesn“™t quite understand her. Although Strickland has a wonderful monologue in the middle of this non-linear show, the strength of the connection between Man and Woman is never fully convincing.

The setting (by Artistic Director Andrew J. Hungerford) evokes the barren Texas Hill Country, juxtaposed to the solid wooden cabin of the Man and Woman. The play is rich in sound (Doug Borntrager), including the beating of wings, which rumble through the seats of the black-box theatre. Noelle Johnston“™s costumes make you feel like there are dragons, without hitting you over the head. The lighting (Hungerford) and poetic movement elevate this to a poetic allegory.

Both funny and moving, Dragon Play at Know Theatre Cincinnati is a modern story that explores the cost of love““sweet, tender, and fiery““it will move you to tears and laughter, all in 75 minutes.

For tickets call 513-300-KNOW or www.knowtheatre.com

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