Writer/Director Kevin Broccoli describes his new play, “Paint,” as “a star vehicle, ensemble piece, science fiction story, a play about mothers and daughters, muses and inspiration, the Civil War, melodrama, and pre-historic cave dwellings.”
Let’s start with the cave dwellings, as Broccoli does in this two-hour, two-act, thought-provoking play.
The very talented Steph Rodger appears first as a cave dweller who dreams of covering her cave wall with her first painting. She then travels through time as a convent nun in the Middle Ages, a London artist looking for a model, an artist living with her sister during the Civil War, a married woman of the ’50s, then a New York City wannabe artist, a modern woman, and finally a woman of the future. In each scene she plays opposite a different actress, with occasional references to past times and a running theme about mother-daughter relationships.
Broccoli’s provocative mind puts some clever language into the dialogue, raising questions about how and why we remember others. He has written an eight-page monologue for Rodger that brings the action into a sort of “What goes around, comes around.”
The eight women who play opposite Rodger are all very good, climbing comfortably into their individual characters and challenging concepts of art, history and relationships. 2019 has been a breakthrough year for women, especially mature women, on the Rhode Island stages, and Epic Theatre has played a major role in that development. As Kevin says often, “Buckle up.”
“Paint” is at Epic Theatre, 50 Rolfe St. in Cranston through November 23. It is well worth your time. For tickets, e-mail www.artists-exchange.org.