This play is based on histories of many young women who, in the 50’s and 60’s, conceived out of wedlock and were forced to surrender the baby for adoption. In Louisa Hill’s poignant drama pregnant Dee, age 16, is forced to give up the baby that is the focus of all her love.
Deciding what is really best for their daughter, and determined to correct the situation so no one will ever know, her parents send her away. The social workers, and the nuns in the Home, have no feeling for the damage being done. The teenage girl goes back to school, while the baby is sent off into the blissful prospect of a perfect life.
It’s an indictment of our society that what happens through the years bears no resemblance to the utopian dream of adoption. When we meet Corie the abandoned child, 25 years later, she has been shuttled from rejecting families to foster homes with no knowledge of her birth mother’s pain. When the two do finally connect the drama of misunderstanding threatens to rip them apart again.
The compassionate direction by Tony Abatemarco inspires deeply moving performances by Corryn Cummins (Dee) and Michaela Slezak (Corie). Adrian Gonzalez smoothly transforms from stern father to eager boyfriends to cool seducer, while Amy Harmon matches him as pompous mother, practical social worker, kindly nun. Marylin Winkle on cello adds haunting melancholy sound.
At Skylight Theatre, 1816 North Vermont, Los Feliz, through May 14. Tickets: (213) 761-7061 or http://SkylightTix.com
Also reviewed in the May issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY