THE SONG OF BERNADETTE JONES
Written by Maura Campbell
Review by Amanda Kavaja
The 2018 Fresh Fruit Festival 16th Season
The Wild Project, 195 East 3rd Street
Sometimes trying to find yourself, comes with a cost… An Alaskan girl named Carolyn, was no ordinary teenager. Sure, she loved the snow and had fun building snowmen with her sister, but those memories just remained as flashbacks. I loved the character of Mary because of her energetic self and big dreams she one day wished came true. Bryn Dolan was stunning in all her varied characterizations. As Carolyn’s 5-year old sister went missing, she began to lose a piece of herself. That piece had been comfort. I absolutely enjoyed the way Sam Spadafore portrayed Carolyn because she demonstrated different deep types of grief. Every time she fell, she still had a little more hope to get back up again. For someone who seemed to be hopeless, she secretly carried faith along with her. She soon realized she’s was content with being known as a boy rather than a girl. However, that’s not all…
When Carolyn moved to New York, she attended a new school. There, she met a friend named Robert. He had liked her, but she did not feel the same way in return. Though, they did grow to have a strong friendship. Tom Hayes exemplified Robert as someone who everyone meets at some point in their lives. An aspiring astronomer connecting science to reality. An even stronger friendship comes to light when they play with the OUIJA board. It occurs to them that it would be fun to experience spiritual awakenings…until, Bernadette Jones’ presence came. She cried for help, looking for a way to be freed from serving those who had disrespected her. I felt as if Bryn Dolan represented Bernadette’s character amazingly. The Southern accent she incorporated into her acting made the play more intriguing. Humor entered the play when Robert shared an intimate relationship with Bernadette Jones, which was not at all expected.
Bernadette was trapped inside the board of conjured spirits and Robert did everything in his power to free her. In the meantime, Carolyn began cleaning a basketball court so that she’d earn money and go find her missing sister in Alaska. Her drive in never giving up proved the audience that she was stronger than she believed. Robert was nice enough to complete a good deed and gives Carolyn hundreds of dollars for her flight ticket, speechless she couldn’t refuse his offer. Once she arrived in Alaska, Carolyn meets a 5-year-old girl, who reminds her of her sister. Happiness and heartache was shown in her face. This little girl tells her a story she heard a while back, about a girl who went missing and was found under ice. Throughout the play, Carolyn’s costume consisted of a Lakers jersey, a Lakers hat, and black jeans. Her comfort was playing basketball because it had taken her mind away from reality. The props used such as: confetti, a sweeper, and a basketball had grabbed my attention even more. It was my pleasure to watch an amazing play directed with creativity.