Jackson's Dance and Theatre Company
Owner: Jackson Foltyn
Director: Chris Edwards
Fight Choreographer: Ashely H. White
Costumes: Tish Morris
Light and Stage Design: Jackson Foltyn
Lighting and Sound: Jackson Foltyn
Box Office: Jackson Foltyn
Public Relations: Laura L. Watson
Cast (in alphabetical order):
BB: Michael J. Logue
Ben: Jackson Foltyn
Carly: Tish Morris
Dawson: Robert Long
Floyd: Jackie Kemp
Kate: Laura L. Watson
McKay: Oscar Juarez
All photos by Captivated Transparency
Reviewed Performance 6/13/2015
Reviewed by Shelley Padilla, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
Opening with a beguiling story from Floyd, played by Jackie Kemp, the evening offered promise. He delivered his lines with humor, confidence, and believability, traits which were demonstrated over and over among the talented cast of Jacksons Dance & Theatre Company. Other standouts were Dawson, played by Robert Long, Ben, played by Jackson Foltyn, Carly, played by Tish Morris, and Joe, played by James Kearney. Production highlights included the use of videography on the set backdrop to enhance events of the story and utilizing tables as part audience seating and part stage set, providing an up-close almost interactive audience experience.
Set in 1940’s San Gabriel, New Mexico, the story shares the intimate details of its inhabitants as they struggle with the inevitable changes of arguable progress. Miners in the local coal mine, Ben, Joe, and Dawson put their lives at risk every day to support the ones they love. When World War II hits, the fruits of their labor are needed to support American military efforts while also providing slightly easier living for San Gabriel’s residents. Unfortunately, it is not only the mine which lives just outside the edge of town, but also a test site for The Bomb. Lingering radiation causes the town dog to die and Carly and Dawson’s baby to be born with defects, although the town residents are not aware of the cause. Eventually, the safety of the mine is compromised, and so are the lives of Ben, Joe, and Dawson, forcing inevitable change on the town and its residents.
Just as Floyd (Kemp) captured audience attention with his ramblings, Ben (Foltyn) similarly drew us in with sophisticated intonation and a commanding presence, Joe (Kearney) was convincing as a strong and silent fatherly figure, and Carly (Morris) had a mysterious coquettishness that was hard to ignore. However, the most brilliantly played role of the night was Dawson (Long). Robert Long won audience favor with his adolescent charm, warming hearts with a desire to protect him, cheer for him, and share laughs with him. Kate, (Watson), was a little less convincing as an alpha female. Needing to fill the boots of a respected female force to be reckoned with, Watson leaned a bit too heavily on aggression leaving little room for likeability. Also unfortunate for Kate, her wardrobe did not represent the 40’s era as closely as others’ which subtracted professionalism from the production by appearing as though the items were taken out of a modern closet in hope they might be considered “close enough.”
The stage design must be recognized for contributing to the successful show. The production is presented inside the Jacksons Theatre & Dance facility in a space which appears to serve dual purpose for studio and performance. Foltyn uses this blank canvas to his advantage by placing small temporary risers for seating on the left side and front creating a unique make-shift thrust stage. Additionally, the restaurant tables included as part of the set are open for audience seating with the exception of two seats at each reserved for characters of the play. Anyone seated at the restaurant tables have a very up-close-and-personal view of the action provoking a visceral experience, and although there are no bad seats in the house due to the intimate size of the space, the table seats are an excellent choice for theater goers with a sense of adventure. The audience experience is further enhanced by a screen on the far-right wall partially framed by a brick façade where imagery like a rocky mountainside is projected. Overall, Terminal Café does not disappoint, and with luck, two-year old Jacksons Dance and Theater Company will thrive.
Jacksons Theatre and Dance
Through June 5-27
Friday & Saturday at 8PM, Sunday 14 & 21 at 2PM
Tickets are $20 for evening performances, $12 for matinees
Please call the box office at 972.964.5225, arrive at the box office 30 minutes before curtain time to purchase tickets on sight, or buy tickets on-line at www.jacksonsdanceandtheatreco.net. A $2.09 fee per ticket will be added for on-line ticket sales; on Father’s Day (June 21) the fee is $1.54. Seating is open.
The theatre is located inside the Jacksons Dance & Theatre Company facility at 6205 Coit Road, Suite 170, Plano. TX, 75024.