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A World Premier Drama by Bruce R. Coleman

Theatre Three


Cindee Mayfield: Ada
Connie Coit: Minnie
Max Swarner: Micah
Sterling Gafford: Harris Latimer
Blake Blair: Caleb
Abigail Palmgren: Kate
Mathew Holmes: Natty
Sky Williams: A Stranger
Greg Jackson: A Stranger

Bruce R. Coleman: Director
Amanda West: Lighting Design
Bruce R. Coleman: Costume Design
Rodney Dobbs: Scenic Design
Rich Frolich: Sound Design
Nic McMinn: Master Electrician
Nicholas E. Catanon: AEA Stage Manager
Seth Monhollon: Production Assistant
John Ruegsegger: Technical Director
David Walsh: Scenic Painter
Production Crew: Lauren Volz
Bruce R. Coleman: Original Music
Donnatelle Mascari: F/X Makeup Consultant

Reviewed Performance: 12/2/2016

Reviewed by Christopher Soden, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

Bruce Coleman’s Day Light is set in the Texas panhandle of the late 1800’s, at the ranch house of the Poteet family. The three Poteet brothers: Natty, Caleb and Micah help their mother Ada, take care of their struggling ranch in the shadow of their deceased father, and an elder brother, who went missing in battle and presumed dead. There’s a great deal of friction between the siblings, but considering the magnitude of their travails, it doesn’t seem excessive. Arguments may get heated, but they’re rarely toxic. During the course of this two act play, one brother will bring home an African-American wife, another will confront his buddy and lover, and another barely grasps the intense dissatisfaction of his new bride, big with child.

And that’s only a few of the issues raised in Day Light, a domestic drama, in which each character has the opportunity to release their rage and frustration, their profound disappointment and sadness. Coleman raises questions we wouldn’t expect to be addressed at that time in American history, much less Texas. Which doesn’t mean they didn’t exist. He takes a great deal of trouble to explore these questions with precision and accuracy. What can a woman do when married life is excruciating and utterly empty of joy? What could you expect from your family if you married a woman of color? How would you begin to find resolution if you found yourself in love with another man, knowing the mere mention could go sideways? To Coleman’s credit, he doesn’t pussyfoot or offer sunshine lollipops. Even in the most celebratory moments, Natty, the youngest, and sweet Aunt Minnie are the only ones allowed the extravagance of open emotion. Each ordeal is compelling, and worthy of reflection and theatrical exploration.

Day Light is engrossing and engaging, though we long (it seems to me) for less ambition and more time spent with such ponderous issues. Tennessee Williams, Henrik Ibsen, Howard Sackler, all devoted entire shows to these topics. Please understand, I would never suggest there is only one path to success, or that Mr. Coleman has neglected his responsibilities as craftsman. This involved narrative manages to interweave the different conflicts that arise, and reach some kind of epiphany. But how much lovelier if more of the journey had opened before us? Day Light is an intriguing show that gives voice to stories that were most likely ignored at that time. It reaches for genuine emotion while refusing to mash our buttons.

Written and directed by Bruce Coleman
Playing November 17th- December 11th, 2016

Theatre Three
2800 Routh Street
Suite 168
Dallas, Texas 75201