Although The Road Weeps, The Well Runs Dry is nearly three hours long, this play is jam-packed with action. And it’s completely wild. Like, grab onto the side of your seat, bring a friend to clutch sort of deal. It has Brown written all over it; from the family dynamics to the shifting gender roles to the unconventional narrative style. Unsurprisingly, it is the brainchild of a Brown Professor, Marcus Gardley. Director Kym Moore explains how Gardley “created a myth culled from our collective past as balm for the soul.”
Here are ten of my takeaways from The Road Weeps, The Well Runs Dry:
1. The set is one-of-a-kind. Before the show began, the audience was invited to walk on the stage and have a look around. There were rocks scattered on the ground, headless torsos, and a massive hole in the ground. Perplexed, we settled into our seats. Soon, an overhead voice alerted us that “the museum is now closing.” Were we pretending this was a museum because Native peoples are always so on display? Or was it just because the stage was so interesting? Already, the play was thought provoking, forcing us to ask questions that couldn’t be answered. Philosophy friends, where you at?
2.The lighting technicians killed it. The creamy watercolor effect immediately established the mood. And as the plot moved forward, the set became drenched in red. The shadows were threatening and distorted our sense of place and time. Going for unsettled? Success.
3. Every sentence in this script drips with metaphor; I found myself scrambling to commit certain lines to memory. Many of the phrases are violent. When the characters argue, they spit out words like bullets, attacking one another mercilessly. But when young Sweet Tea, played by Julia Newitt ‘19, tries to explain her love, we are fully convinced that her feelings are pure.
4. This play is full of badass ladies. The witch Half George, played by Oyindamola Akingbile ‘17, was particularly striking. Captivated by her strong melodic voice, we are in her clutches the entire show. She reckons that her heart is “hard and rotten” and she’s not wrong. The argument scene between her and Mary South (played to perfection by Crystal Kim ‘16) is especially terrifying.