Potomac Threatre Project 2006 Shines
The 20th season of the Potomac Theatre Project at the Olney Theatre Center shines brightly with two relevant plays: No End of Blame by Howard Barker, directed by Richard Romagnoli, and An Experiment with an Air Pump by Shelagh Stephenson, directed by Cheryl Faraone.
Both plays are wonderfully acted. No End of Blame has local actors Paul Morella and Helen Hedman who perform their roles with just the right finesse. Morella as the somewhat disturbing creative type, Bela Veracek, and Hedman in a variety of short roles in this play which raises the question of what obligation does the artist or cartoonist have to himself and the society in which he lives. Certainly the Danish cartoons of this year makes this play relevant and the censorship portrayed in the play also raises questions of the role of journalists in USA today, though the play is dealing with the British World War II scenario.
An Experiment with an Air Pump also raises questions that are relevant in today\’s society with regard to scientific developments and the role of women in the workplace. Connan Morrissey plays two interwined roles brilliantly as does Clinton Brandhagen but Tara Giordano nearly brings the audience to tears in her superb role as a Scottish servant.
There\’s still time to catch these plays and I recommend them highly.
One recommendation I have not only for Olney Theatre but several in the DC area is that there should be program notes about the playwrights; for without the playwright there is no play.