The Column Online



by Matthew J. Edwards (World Premiere)

Rover Dramawerks

Director - Carol M. Rice
Asst. Dir./Stage Manager - Robbi Holman
Set Design - Erica R-mi Lorca and Lindsey Humphries
Costume Design - Suzi Cranford
Lighting Design - Soren Haroldson
Sound Design - Jason Rice
Properties Design - Terrie Justus


Angelica Sullivan - Kate Werner
Richard "Stretch" Smith - Jake Shanahan
Jimmie - Blake Owen
Doc - Jarod Warren
Veronica - Jade Reyes
Angie - Lizzie Dunnet
Deb - Jessica Blaine Elwell
Rick - J. Kyle Harris
Brad - Young C. Lee
Water/Mailman/Sailor/Marine - J. R. Bradford

Reviewed Performance: 5/26/2012

Reviewed by Elaine Plybon, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

Have you ever wondered about a love lost? Written in Time is a quaint story about finding and losing love during the start of World War II. The twist to this love story, however, is that it is told 70 years later through letters and a diary discovered in an attic by young Angie, granddaughter to Angelica. Through these letters, she learns more about her grandmother, but also about herself.

Matthew J. Edwards debuts his first full-length play with this show. Although the premise of the show is worthy of further development, the script was awkward and contrived, with characters that were shallow. I was often confused - were we in Hawaii? California? Had weeks, months, or years passed? Acts and scenes were not listed in the program so I had to focus on the action and not dwell on my sense of being lost.

Despite the script, the cast made a valiant effort to put on a show that was meaningful. Lizzie Dunnet portrayed Angie, who ran through emotions of disappointment, anger, and happiness in a believable way. Jessica Blaine Elwell's interpretation of Deb, Angie's best friend, was bouncy and affected - the role seemed an add-on and was somewhat distracting. Jake Shanahan played Richard "Stretch" Smith competently although he sometimes missed the mark during scenes that could have drawn us in and made us believe he truly loved Angelica.

Angelica was aptly played by Kate Werner. She often spoke directly to the audience, which could have been a nice touch, but since we were supposed to be getting the story through her diary, it might have been more meaningful if we would have seen that process. Werner showed flexibility in her performance as she altered between a happy girl in love to a strong woman dealing with great loss.

Veronica, played by Jade Reyes, had a moment in the show that was deeply meaningful as she learned about the fate of her beau, but the moment was sadly marred by an awkward entrance and interaction with Jimmie, played by Blake Owen. Even so, it was clear that Jade connected with her character.

My favorite parts of the show were the ones with J. Kyle Harris (Rick) and Young C. Lee (Brad). These two friends generated the most laughter from the audience with Lee making the best of a weak script and playing his part with finesse. This was the one character we really did get to know as Lee deftly portrayed a modern-day best friend to Harris' Rick.

The set design by Erica Remi Lorca and Lindsey Humphries deserved recognition. From the moment I walked into the small in-the-round space, I began appreciating the skill of these two women. The pair created four areas within a very small space which represented a cafe, two homes/apartments, and sleeping quarters. The minimalist design kept the space from feeling cluttered and skillfully gave us the background we needed to understand the setting. My favorite was the sleeping quarters, with a simple and small set of bunks which were functional yet easily forgotten when they were not in use.

The costumes, designed by Suzi Cranford, were well-coordinated for the 40s-era characters but must not have been a focus for the modern-day characters. Angie and Deb wore bland outfits with no accessories or appeal, which increased the difficulty in trying to get to know these characters.

Rover Dramawerks
at the Cox Building Playhouse, 1517 H Avenue, Plano, Texas 75074
Runs through June 9th

Shows are Thursday-Saturday at 8:00 pm

Single tickets are $16.00-$20.00 and can be purchased online at Call 972-849-0358 for more info.