Also confusing are persistent interruptions from a starstruck reporter, whose character is not explained until the very end of the play, in a section about Jerrie’s philanthropic work in the Amazon. The script only partially ties up all of its storylines, though to its credit Jerrie’s own story comes through clearly.
The device of the tank anchors her firmly at the center of all digressions, but where the technical design of the tank is concerned, blue squiggled projections prove to be more distracting than enhancing. Using lights to shape the space would have been sufficient.
In spite of these bumps, Ollstein’s writing and vision are a wonderful showcase for the School of Drama actors and designers. The performances have a wonderful freshness, with surprising moments of humor and affectation, such as when Jerrie’s father pretends to be angry with her for staying outside past her bedtime.
Both isolating and intimate at the same time, Moon is a breathtaking look at the intensity of an Oklahoma girl’s dream. Though the character of Jackie Cochran dismisses Jerrie as someone who wouldn’t be remembered, They Promised Her the Moon ensures that, in fact, her story will live on. The production is currently closed, but it functions as an Associate Entrant in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, which may allow it further performances later. Those wishing to know more may visit the university drama department's website.