Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

August 13, 2012

Homestead Crossing

Berkshire Theatre Group
through September 1, 2012
by Shera Cohen

The program book for “Homestead Crossing” states that the play is “about life, love and relationships.” Well, those three subjects seem to describe the subject matter of just about half of the plays ever written. “Romeo and Juliet” fit the bill, as does “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” Indeed, if one was to mix the pair of couples, put them in one setting, then lighten them up (a lot) the end result is a bit like Berkshire Theatre’s world premier of “Homestead Crossing.” However, even though the story is fun does not mean that it is without depth.

Anne and Noel (Corinna May and David Adkins) live a middle-aged boring life in their lovely home. Enter Claudia and Tobin (Lesley Shires and Ross Cowan) who are younger, eager for life, and lost in the midst of a proverbial dark and stormy night. Each pair is in the midst of arguing. Seemingly disparate couples, the dialogue take delicate steps to intertwine the four personalities through experiences, dreams, mores, and expectations. May and Adkins easily don the demeanor of a mundane married couple with mutual comfort. Their crisp repartee, with undertones of solemnity, creates a real duo to watch, albeit relatively uninteresting to the audience. Shires and Cowan’s characters intrude and infuse quirkiness into the scene (both actors are terrific at quirky). They are the polar opposites of Anne and Noel. Or are they? Ah, the mystery. Now the foursome comes alive.

Director Kyle Fabel moves his quartet on an even level in the one-set (living room). While in some important segments the actors seemed to be blocked by furniture, there is, after all, just so much that can be done in one static room. Whether unintentional or not, the relatively even and motionless set added to the purpose of the play’s focus. Although seemingly insignificant, the title “Homestead Crossing” is, in hindsight, absolutely perfect.

Kudos to playwright William Donnelly on his world premiere and to Berkshire Theatre for mounting this special story of live, love, and relationships.