By Holli Harms
My young tween daughter and I saw the March 3rd performance of This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing, which was a relaxed performance allowing parents with children on the spectrum to have a safe place to attend live theatre. The lights in the theatre did not go to full dark, and the audience was allowed to be vocal if they needed to be. On each corner of the theatre was a person with fidgets if a child might not have theirs and needed them. This play on its own was fantastic, but I am so glad we were able to see it with the wonder of this special audience. One young man in front of us was leaning on the back of the chair in front of him with a face totally engaged in the play. You could see he was thinking what I first thought when I first saw a play as a child, “What is happening! There is a story unfolding right in front of me that I could reach out and touch. This is fantastic!”
The story centers around three sisters who are abandoned in the woods by their misguided father. There the sisters embark on separate journeys of discovery. One travels forward, one back, and one stays put finding the journey in the here and now. Along the way they learn about war, baking, telling a good joke, building a home, finding friendship, love, and self truth.
The cast of young actors are, simply put, divine. Acting, singing, dancing, building and breaking down the set and making the magic of it appear effortless. This ensemble is flawless.
The co-direction of Alison Beatty and Tom Costello is a rocket ship to the stars. Propelling us into other worlds with their staging and ingenious crafting of set and props. They have fashioned, with the writing of Finegan Kruckemeyer, a joyous time at the theatre.
AND Finegan Kruckemeyer! He has created a new kind of magical mythical fairy tale. I could say more: but my young tween says it best:
Input Of A Young Tween Going On 25
By Beatrice Walters
I recommend this play for absolutely anyone. No matter how troubled or different the friend or family you want to bring along is, ADHD, autism, spectrum and any others you could be terrified for about live theatre. This tale of difference, friendship, and inescapable routes of family relation and kindness can find its’ way to anyone’s heart.
This Girl Laughs perfectly displays every bit of detail of growing up and it’s meaning. It starts with an intriguing introduction of a small family of three daughters (Carmen, Beatrix, and Ablienne) and their parents on the outskirts of a humble village. Each gets along just fine with the other. Each has their own personalities, hobbies, and certain places in the world with elements their souls intertwine with perfectly. They get separated from their family, slowly and painfully finding themselves dropped, stranded, and abandoned. Due to each of their personal aims and personalities, they all choose different routes of life. One wants to see the meat in life and savor the happiness that this chance to start a fresh life gives. Another wants to find “home” and make everything the way it was. The last, knows of nothing waiting for her in the past, much less, the future, so she stays stranded.
The rest of the play is purely heaven sent. Because of one simple choice, every life is different. Nobody is simply one thing or another. Everyone has little bits of every thing. Emotions and hobbies blossom from the slightest to the biggest. Like any cake or pastry. There’s not just sugar in them. There’s flour, eggs, milk, baking soda, and much more. Every cake and cookie recipe is different by what you put in it and how you bake it. Like people. Simple things can make the biggest difference. While the young daughters mature, they find out feelings and natural talents they never knew they had. Lost from the village, and from each other they grow up vastly different from one another.
Songs, rhymes, and words in this play purely represent strong female empowerment. Never give up, never surrender, don’t ever let anyone tell you that there is something you can’t do. And when given the choice of living in the world of “Not trying”, because you don’t like the odds, its better to die knowing that you gave it your heart, soul, and best effort always reaching the end as a try-err.
All the while, the daughters are aging during this time of finding. Starting their individual twisted adventures at twelve, and finding each other after seeing whom they are inside at thirty-one. Time flies by. Fast. Breathe in every second of life ‘cause it’s the only one you’ve got. The time skips in this may sound rather fast, but it’s really how time can pass under your nose and you won’t remember any of it. Savor life and put good use to the small time span you have. You only get to walk on the face of this planet for so long.
This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing brings many life tips and central messages to everyone. But everyone has multiple opinions. The only opinion that stays in everyone’s head is the vibe of family relation, of love. Three sisters. One beginning. Three stories. One ending. See it. Watch it. Love it.
This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing written by Finegan Kruckemeyer and directed by Alison Beatty and Tom Costello.
With: Lauren Annunziata, Brendan Dalton, Anthony Holiday, Sarah Kowalski, Melissa Mahoney, Cerridwyn McCaffrey, Adam Roebling, and Nate Weida
Creative Team: Directed by Alison Beatty and Tom Costello, Musical direction and original music by Nate Weida, scenic design by Edward T. Morris, costume design by Katja Andreiev, lighting design by Elizabeth Mak, props design by Caitlyn Murphy, and production stage management by Emily Roth, Production Manager, S.M. Payson
Schedule: This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing has two more performances on Saturday March 11th and Sunday March 12th both at 10:30am.
Running Time: 1 hour 15 minutes with no intermission. General Seating.
Tickets: General admission tickets are $15 for kids (10 and under) and $20 for adults. Group tickets are also available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are $10 for kids and $15 for adults for all Atlantic Season Passport holders. Order online HERE or by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111, or in person at the Linda Gross Theater box office (336 West 20th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues).
Atlantic for Kids (Atlantic Theater Company Artistic Director, Neil Pepe; Atlantic Theater Company Managing Director, Jeffory Lawson; Atlantic Acting School Executive Director, Mary McCann; Atlantic for Kids Artistic Director, Alison Beatty)