Bright Half Life Review – Sharing Past, Present, and Future

Kacie Rogers and Tiffany Wolff in BRIGHT HALF LIFE - Photo by Elizabeth Kimball
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The Road Theatre Company continues its thirtieth anniversary repertory season with BRIGHT HALF LIFE.  Penned by Pulitzer Prize nominee Tanya Barfield and directed by Amy K. Harmon, BRIGHT HALF LIFE is an actors’ showcase piece with gives ample space for its two stars to shine. This much anticipated Los Angeles premiere was developed during the author’s residency at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Playwrights Conference in 2014.

Kacie Rogers and Tiffany Wolff – Photo by Elizabeth Kimball

BRIGHT HALF LIFE is a love story, a tale of the many moments which punctuate each person’s life and are sprinkled over time and space – moments which bring incredible happiness and meaning, as well as immense pain and heartbreak. The play spans 1985 to 2031 in the life of its two performers. Vicky (Kacie Rogers) and Erica (Tiffany Wolff) meet, love, marry, raise a family, divorce, and experience all of the seconds and minutes which constitute a life together – and apart. BRIGHT HALF LIFE also serves as a real-life demonstration of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity – for the play randomly inserts these intimate flashes without concern for chronology. Thrilling times are interspersed with instants of profound sadness – whether they might have happened when the two first met or when they were separating. And the talented actors are drawn along in this inevitable trail of laughter and tears barely separated by milliseconds. BRIGHT HALF LIFE is a dance which turns and twists in time to words spoken and lights which flash and go dark. It is the choreography of love from beginning to end.

Kacie Rogers and Tiffany Wolff – Photo by Elizabeth Kimball

BRIGHT HALF LIFE is carefully orchestrated by director Amy K. Harmon, who helms the play with compassion and understanding. Kudos to Kacie Rogers and Tiffany Wolff, who keep up the nonstop pace with words and body movements as thoughts and emotions flash and ebb. Congratulations are also in order for Brian Graves’ scenic design – which is simple, yet a perfect fit for the constant changes in the piece – as well as Derrick McDaniel’s lighting – which gives added dimension and definition to the play. Mary Jane Miller’s costumes fit the actors’ personae and offer just the right edge to the tale. And this is not just the story of two female lovers who meet and share a future. This is a story of any couple, gay or straight, who choose to share their lives and create a family and a future together. BRIGHT HALF LIFE is also an actors’ showcase and a play which could easily become a required program for actors in training.

BRIGHT HALF LIFE runs through May 22, 2022, with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays until 4/8/22. Performances continue in repertory beginning at 8 p.m. on Thursday 5/12 and continue at 8 p.m. on Saturdays and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sundays through 5/22/22 (no performances on 4/29, 4/30/ or 5/1/22). The Road Theatre is located at 10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, CA. Tickets are $39 (students and seniors $15; Sundays Pay-What-You-Can). For information and reservations, call 818-761-8838 or go online.


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