By David Walters
Yes, it’s a bit of a walk down East 4th Street to see Job at Connelly Theater (220 E. 4th Street), but it’s a carnival ride when you get there. It begins with a bang at lights up and flings you from the House of Mirrors (where you look deeply and intently at yourself) to the House of Horrors (sharp intake of breath and a scoot back in your chair) for the full 70 minutes with no brakes on the whole time. You will be pricked, prodded, and tweaked, but please stay in your seat until the ride is over.
Jane (Sydney Lemmon who is able to bring the audience in and keep them at arm’s length at the same time) is on a leave of absence from her tech job where she daily views and filters the bad-actors from the web. She jumped up on a conference table at a meeting and started screaming which got her a leave of absence. After several days off, in order to get her job back, she is required to have a session with a crisis therapist, Loyd (Peter Friedman who is a rock, until he’s not), who will mentally clear her before she goes back into the trenches.
Job is filled with psychological twists and turns as Loyd struggles to see the far-reaching truths in what Jane is presenting and still keep a professional client/therapist relationship while Jane, who sees herself as the savior of the planet struggles to make the right choice for herself and the world.
Writer Max Wolf Friedlich has written a tense and tightly-strung piece that will keep you riveted. Director Michael Herwitz keeps winding the strings taught until you are sure they’re going to break at any moment.
Scenic designer Scott Penner has created a playing space that condenses the large proscenium theater at Connelly and allows the play to be held in the hand of the audience. Costumes by Michelle Li add to the believability and off-kilterness of each character. The lighting design by Mextly Couzin and sound design by Jessie Char and Maxwell Neely-Cohen combine to make an explosive and jarring presentation that comments directly on each character’s psyche.
Job runs approximately 70 minutes with no intermission.
Triggers: adult themes, flashing lights, and loud noises.