A letter from a new Theater-Goer


NINA KARBANENKA attended The Woolgatherer By William Mastrosimone

Directed by Chazz Palminteri as her first time “off-off Broadway”)

As it was my first experience of watching a play in such a small auditorium with so few people around, it was unusual to be so close to the actors. It felt so intimate and private, that I felt like I was a part of the play. My husband and I had a great time and truly enjoyed the play. The actors did a great job interpreting the characters’ personalities and delivering the message of the play. Christina Toth, who played Rose, was so gentle, sensitive, and fragile that, in certain scenes, I felt like crying. And Mike Keller, playing Cliff, was rough, sarcastic, straightforward, being a complete opposite of Rose. They both were very natural and deep in their interpretation of the characters. I also loved the scenery of the room that totally reflected to the Rose’s way of life and thinking. There was a lot of humor and sarcasm combined with deep, emotional, and passionate monologues that made the play dynamic and captivating. But sometimes, it felt like the play was too long.

I believe that both actors were successful in delivering their message to the audience. From my point of view, they perfectly resembled their characters. Their voices were loud and clear. Christina Toth had a great diction as she pronounced every word and every sound distinctly. Mike Keller’s diction was not that clear at times as he had to speak like a truck driver, imitating police officers and road workers. They both had melodies in their voices, and depending on the situation, they spoke either louder or softer. Vocal expressiveness was amazing: they screamed, laughed, whispered. Their facial expressions and gestures were so well-rehearsed that it seemed like it was a part of themselves. Rose constantly touched her hair, face, neck that showed her lack of confidence, sensitivity, purity, and some sort of childishness. In a couple of scenes when the they were talking about their lives, they both had tears in their eyes! I do not know if the tears were real or not, but it did feel so. Both my husband and I believed the actors and their interpretation of the characters’ personalities. It seemed like a very well-staged acting and performance.

I believe that if you keep thinking about the message of the play after it is over, it means this piece of art affected you a lot. After leaving the theatre, my husband and I kept discussing and interpreting the message of the pay and the actors’ monologues. We came to the conclusion that in this particular play it is very important how the actors interpret their characters. If they would have acted slightly different and made an accent on different aspects of the characters’ personalities, the whole play might have been boring and senseless.

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