The cast of We’ve Come to Believe with director Will Davis. Photo by Marty Pearl
We’ve Come To Believe
By Kara Lee Corthron, Emily Feldman and Matthew Paul Olmos
Directed by Will Davis
Performed by the actors of the 2018-2019 Professional Training Company
commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville
Review by Keith Waits
Entire contents copyright © 2019 by Keith Waits. All rights reserved.
I keep finding that theatre, even revivals of classic plays, is more often than not, about the moment. Whatever side of the aisle you find yourself, we all seem to agree that America is as divided as it has ever been, and each side has taken to viewing the other with collective disbelief. “How can they THINK that?” has become a daily reaction.
We’ve Come to Believe concerns itself with religion, spirituality, and fanaticism but, impressively, never becomes preachy. It is also the work of three writers but director Will Davis’ staging moves through the six pieces so fluidly that there are very few seams on display. The transitions were marked by a good deal of darkness penetrated by sound, especially dialogue, and inventive use of light on the footwear of the ensemble.
The exemplary design work (Scenic Designer Kimie Nishikawa, Costume Designer Dima Abd El-Aziz, Lighting Designer Heather Gilbert, Sound Designer Luqman Brown) provide tidy metaphors for the search for spiritual meaning in a world of increasing darkness and chaos, and the writing casts a host of characters searching, yet often lost or caught up in a fraud or delusion. This family of texts offers only some measure of hope that we might discover authentic delivery from spiritual and social ennui.
It has been a tradition for some time that the last show to open in the Humana Festival is the Apprentice showcase, and if the reasons for reversing that tradition is due to logistics, it still satisfies another observation I have often made: that the opening show is usually a more accessible, crowd-pleasing comedy. We’ve Come to Believe fits that description, especially in the high-energy, vividly funny performance of the Professional Training Company. Although a few had stand out moments, this production uses them as a true ensemble, moving through physical and vocal choreography in unison or in contrast as the moment demands.
Ultimately, the show reminds us that people so desperate to make sense of their lives might accept the most shallow answers because the alternative is too difficult. Charlatans and snake oil salesmen might be satisfying precisely because they are also easy to cast off without too much trauma.
Featuring Amber Avant, David Ball, Silvia Daly Bond, Laura Lee Caudill, Avery Deutsch, Rebby Yuer Foster, Josh Fulton, Ashley N. Hildreth, Rasell Holt, Emma Maltby, Kevin O’Connell, Jonathan Moises Olivares, Kayla Peters, Ash Patlan, Angelica Santiago, Brett Schultz, Julian Socha, Seun Soyemi, Russell Sperberg, Reagan Stovenour.
We’ve Come To Believe
February 24 – April 7, 2019
Part of the 43rd Humana Festival of New American Plays
Actors Theatre of Louisville
316 West Main Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
Keith Waits is a native of Louisville who works at Louisville Visual Art during the days, including being the host of LVA’s Artebella On The Radio on WXOX 97.1 FM / ARTxFM.com, but spends most of his evenings indulging his taste for theatre, music and visual arts. His work has appeared in Pure Uncut Candy, TheatreLouisville, and Louisville Mojo. He is now Managing Editor for Arts-Louisville.com.
2019 Arts-Louisville/Broadway World Theatre Award Sponsorship provided by