Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

July 20, 2015

Luna Gale

New Century Theatre, Northampton, MA

through July 25, 2015

by Konrad Rogowski

New Century Theatre's production of "Luna Gale" is engaging because of a strong script, strong acting, and a title character, who the audience never actually gets to see.

The Rebecca Gilman play, directed by Gina Kaufmann, is a firestorm of planning and plotting by a group of adults, each with his or her own best intended solution, as to who should be the guardian of baby Luna Gale, the daughter of two young, inexperienced, and addicted parents. Enter the social worker, the grandmother, the pastor, and the child protection administrator, each with not only a plan to 'save' Luna, but each with an agenda that taints those best intentions, and raises the suspicions of the others vying for the infant.

The cast does a fine job making their characters credible as motivated, yet flawed, individuals who in some instances teeter on the edge of moral and/or ethical failure. Of particular note are the performances of Cate Damon and Sue Dziura as the social worker and grandmother, respectively. The action and plotting are quick, and nicely helped in their pace by Daniel D. Rist's multiple site set, that moves from office to home and on to a waiting room or nursery. "Luna Gale" is one of those plays that is worth seeing because it mandates that its audience think and evaluate, oftentimes in an uneasy manner. What really is best for baby Luna Gale?