Sabrina Spalding and Victoria Reibel in
Lydia and the Dawn of Man. Photo – Brian Hinds.
Lydia and the Dawn of Man


Written by Rachel White
Directed by Brian Hinds
Reviewed by Keith Waits
Entire contents are copyright © 2013, Keith Waits. All rights reserved.
The same group who produced The Gardeners in May have delivered a follow-up, once again the work of playwright Rachel White, once again in the rough garage space of Tim Faulkner’s Gallery, although they have now christened themselves Marrow Street Theater.
Similarities exist between the two one-act plays, with Lydia and the Dawn Man another story that balances a naturalistic depiction of less-than-exemplary human behavior against an unorthodox ideal. Lydia is a college student devoted to her studies but surrounded by undisciplined libertines who are engaged in sexual hijinks and My Fair Lady drinking games (well maybe they do have some redeeming qualities). Lydia remains dedicated to her reading, with only one thing breaking her concentration: a pre-historic homo erectus pekinensis, or “Peking Man.”
The introduction of this fanciful character is handled in such matter-of-fact fashion that the implausibility of his acceptance into the scenario is somewhat diluted, and exactly what level of reality he occupies seems left largely to the audience’s judgment. He is clearly important to Lydia in ways that are best left discovered and not outlined here. Suffice it to say that the relationship takes Lydia to a different place.
The “garage theatre” aesthetic being established by Marrow Street in their residence at Tim Faulkner’s is loose and funky, marrying an improvisatory vibe with intelligent writing. A few quibbles come to mind about technical things, and one actor kept putting a refrain from My Fair Lady to the wrong melody, but the energy and spirit are very good. Sabrina Spalding does nice, understated work as Lydia; Victoria Reibel is an effective contrast as her slutty roommate; Corey Long is funny as her would-be paramour; and Tony Pike occupies a distinct, non-verbal presence as Peking Man. Jeremy Sapp, Chelsea Skalski and Julie Polley provide able support.
Lydia and the Dawn of Man
Wednesdays, September 11-October 2, 2013
7:30 p.m.

Marrow Street Theater at
Tim Faulkner Gallery
943 Franklin Street
Louisville, KY 40206