REVIEW: Miami’s “With Two Wings”

Review by Liz Eichler

Miami University Theatre has produced a beautifully told family story With Two Wings running October 6-8. This is a well-cast coming of age story–which unfolds in under 60 minutes. Written by Anne Negri, it focuses on a girl grappling to decide her own truths, not just the stories from her childhood.

The Story

The play is about a girl with wings, living in the forest and protected by her parents who forbid her to fly, until she meets girls her own age who reveal the joy of flying and living in a large colony. Lyf (pronounced Life) has lived with five rules, #1 is never to fly–being told she is allergic to the sun, so she and her parents wear cloaks, never seeing each other’s wings. She and her mother joyfully retell the story of the girl who flew too close to the son and had her wings burnt, falling into the ocean. That would never happen to Lyf–because she will never fly, right?

Lyf is an obedient child, following the other rules including never talk to strangers and to never go into her father’s work shed. Well, this pre/teenager breaks those rules, and the audience–especially the youngest ones–feel the tension. Will she get caught? 

The Performances

With Two Wings is well cast and well performed, and especially well designed. Grayson Waither (Lyf)  is appropriately obedient and nervous. Caroline Miller (Meta) elevates the energy and  is a wonderfully quirky new friend we all want to spend time with. Olivia Cotton (Taur) rocks vibes of both Wednesday Addams and Regina George. Jonathan Erwin (Dad) seems age appropriate to be Lyf’s loving dad–which is a great accomplishment for a college student. Lexi-Mangrum-Prokopiof (Mom) is also loving and caring, with a white streak in her hair which makes her seem otherworldly and wise. 

Girl Flying
Cast of With Two Wings at Miami University Theatre.

The Production Team

Matt Omasta, Department Chair directs. He has taken the time to carefully craft this beautiful story which unfolds one wing at a time. Scene design by Gion DeFrancesco immediately places you into the imaginary, as do the carefully pieced-together costumes by Meggan Peters, leafy and colorful lighting by Cassie Mings, and outdoor soundscape by Jason Sebastian. 

I did wonder why the production was in the procenium space, versus the more intimate black box, as the story itself is rather intimate. Later in the show the director’s reasoning becomes clear. 

Entered into KCACTF

“With Two Wings” is participating in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. KCACTF aims to identify and promote quality in college-level theatre programs. Fingers–and wings–crossed!

Explore the rest of Miami University Theatre season HERE. Next up is Bright Star by Edie Brickell and Steve Martin, running November 15-19, 2023 also at the Gates-Abegglen Theatre.