THE EVA TRILOGY, by Barbara Hammond
You’ve got lots of things planned for the weekend: so many plays, movies, and other events- how do you decide? So let me do that for you: Go to The Magic Theatre which celebrates its 50th Anniversary to see the World Premiere of Barbara Hammond’s The Eva Trilogy, directed by Loretta Greco. You’ve got only three chances: tonight 8PM; Saturday, Nov. 11, 8PM; and Sunday, Nov, 12, @ 2:30. Surely you can fit it in to your schedule. You will be happy you did as it closes Nov. 12.
Hammond has written a play- actually three plays- based in a small town in Ireland about a family who had to deal with watching their mother suffer over decade with Parkinson’s disease until she could no longer speak, move, eat or dress herself. Once the mother dies, her daughter, Teresa, a terrific Lisa Anne Porter, and hospice worker, Roisin (a believable Amy Novak) face self-recrimination, guilt. Did either Teresa or Roisin really hear the mother’s repeated whisper, “Kill me”? or were they listening to their own thoughts? There’s a trial at which confessions are heard and judgements made. Justin Gillman is outstanding as conflicted Father O’Leary.
Teresa opens the trilogy with a tour de force monologue about the family’s involvement with the care of the mother, her life in general, and her feelings towards her sister- freedom-loving Eva played by magical Julia McNeal who bailed to Paris eventually ending up living in the wilds of Corsica thirty years later, leaving Teresa and her husband, Eamon (an always excellent Rod Knapp) to cope.
Part Three set thirty years later asks one to suspend belief as Eva communicates with Nymph (Megan Trout) seen only as white silhouette dancing among trees in her wilderness encampment. (Set design and projection design by Hana S. Kim) Caleb Cabrera is effective as Tom, a young backpacker who literally stumbles upon Eva’s camp. Barbara Hammon confides to her interviewer Sonia Fernandez, about the noise of commerce which “is a roar that’s killing us- In No Coast Road [Part Three] Eva finds a place behind it. I hope the trilogy takes us all there.”
Hammond’s rewarding trilogy requires one’s total investment. You’ll ask yourself what you would do in such a situation, who would you believe? One questions oneself about who decides who should live: the afflicted? the government? doctors, a priest or some other religious entity? Who has the right to die? Can one act for another and abide by one’s repeated request to end his/her life. Or would you just disappear- Divest yourself of any responsibility or caring.