"Trifles" by Pulitzer-prize winning Susan Glaspell was the only play I wasn't familiar with, and after seeing it, I was ashamed of my shortcoming. A nice twisty crime drama, "Trifles," despite its name, is not inconsequential. Like "Two Slatterns and A King," "Trifles" too had strong feminist stance. Directed by Amy Overman, the play was a fitting follow-up to the Millay's play, however, the cast seemed a bit worn after the strain of the four play marathon. Fortunately Jennifer Gill (below right) as Mrs. Peters and Theresa Unfried (below - Mrs. Hale) deliver substance. The two women, cleaning up a neighbor's house after she has been accused of murder, have a quiet epiphany - a glimpse into the tragic life of someone who lived down the road in quiet misery for years. The window into a woman's distress, not the off-stage homicide, shows the true crime.
It was a night of one-acts, the work of two Pulitzer winners, a Nobel winner, and F. Scott Fitzgerald who won no prestigious prizes but may have received the best award of all - the embodiment of a decade. I question the intrinsic position of 'Purgatory' within the other plays, but the evening as a whole is a joyous reminder of what the one-act is, a declarative statement from the playwright.
A Voluminous Night of Brevity runs through March 31 at the Red Room Theatre.