Space Theatre: Grace, or The Art of Climbing

Plays through February 17, 2013.

SPACE THEATRE, DCPA COMPLEX

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Denver was the proud host for the premiere of Lauren Feldman‘s “Grace, or The Art of Climbing.” 

It’s the story of a young twenty-five old woman who finds herself back home in South Florida living with her father. She is depressed, tired, frustrated and irritated with herself and her life thus far. As a child, Emm and her Dad practiced rock climbing in the garage as an indoor athletic endeavor – no natural rock climbing in Miami. Dad thought wisely that learning to grip, hold and breathe onto the side of a rock would teach life lessons in tenacity, courage and strength. Well, as Emm mopes and whines and sleeps at home, Dad gets her butt out of bed and into the garage for old times sake.

The play is about creating a life and picking yourself up by your belay and getting to the next ledge. Never let go and always know where you are going are two rules of climbing. Emm struggles with ambition to do anything and to find will power along her path. She wants to become a person who knows where she is going and can work to eventually reach that goal. Even if whining and discouragement are a part of the growth.

A play of metaphors for life. The flashbacks take the audience into Emm’s former life, her lovers, loses and friendships. Feldman’s dialogue  creatively combines Dane Laffrey‘s incredible metaphorical rock climbing sets with one person’s self-doubt. This person discovers the stepping stones to self-confidence. There is no intermission. It couldn’t happen. The flow and emotion of the show must continually advance from start to finish uninterrupted. Otherwise, the grace of climbing would be lost.

I thought Climbing had the most beautiful ending. When Emm finds her graceful rhythm for rock climbing and the realization of where she is going. John Hutton plays her dad. He is always superb. Alejandro Rodriquez debuts as Sims, her climbing coach and Emm, played by Julie Jesneck, form a harmonic ensemble. Their acting mastery strengthens a well constructed storyline. The set was simple and perfect.

TICKETS MAY BE PURCHASED BY CALLING 303-893-4100, OR VISITING www.denvercenter.org.

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