Ke’Leb Beauchamp, Meghan Logue, Adama Abramson, & Shannon Wolley Allison. Photo: Looking for Lilith
By Allie Keel
Directed by Kathi E.B. Ellis
Review by Kate Barry
Entire contents are copyright © 2019 by Kate Barry. All rights reserved.
Sure, the classics and the standard favorites are fun but watching a new work gain footing for the first time is a thrill. Looking for Lilith’s current production is a new work by local writer, Allie Keel, simply called Note. Intimate, honest, and real, the play explores mental health issues with integrity as we peer behind-the-scenes of a one-woman show.
Set in a rehearsal space, an actor named Charlotte, played by Meghan Logue, is cast to play Sarah. Based on an unseen third character, Sarah is a playwright affected by bipolar disorder and the subject of the autobiographical one-woman play within the play. When tragedy strikes, Sarah’s sister, Jules, played by Shannon Woolley Allison, addresses and copes with unanswered questions and grief through an arduous rehearsal process. The script is rich with the representation of manic and depressive moods. Deeply emotional and courageous, Sarah’s monologues shed light on the highs, lows, and in between without self-pity, angst, or self-indulgence. Instead, these beautifully vulnerable explanations give a fearless perspective on a misunderstood disease.
As Charlotte, Logue handles the responsibility of portraying Sarah with great care. Logue changes between Charlotte and Sarah with skill and clarity. From Charlotte’s first moments in a pool of light during the audition sequence, Logue begins to build on the complexity of Sarah’s fight with her depression and manic episodes. Her “moon creatures” speech is surreal, contrasting with her haunting and still “it’s your fault” speech. Without a doubt, Logue proves her range in this role. Ke’Leb Z. Beauchamp adds flair and presence to Sarah’s speeches by appearing as assorted therapists, parental figures, and personified figments of Sarah’s struggle.
Taking charge as the director, Jules, Shannon Woolley Allison brings about a fierce and fully actualized performance. Fighting with grief and guilt, Jules is not to be messed with. Searching for answers and fueled by anger, loss, and stages of grief, Allison presents a character who is stricken with questions. In Jules, we see someone who struggles with missed opportunities, lost chances, and self- blame. Adama Abramson, as Sam the stage manager, provides emotional support for Jules. Abramson provides a pivotal moment as she exclaims, “you’re still alive.” Indeed, a reminder for all survivors. By the end, Jules finds the strength to carry on and protect her sister through art.
Allie Keel’s Note is raw and unapologetic, a play that sticks with you and haunts long after leaving the theater. The story is hard to watch yet absolutely breathtaking. It is the kind of story that needs to be shared.
Featuring Meghan Logue, Shannon Woolley Allison, Adama Abramson, KeLeb Z. Beauchamp
May 31, June 1, 3, 7, 8 @ 7:30 pm, and June 9 @ 5:30 pm
Looking for Lilith Theatre Company
The Mex Theater at The Kentucky Center for the Arts
501 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Tickets: $21 | $16 – Students/Seniors/Military
June 3, Community Night – $11
Audio Description and ASL available
Audio Description: 6/9/19
By Request Only. Reservations must be made 2 weeks in advance. Please contact The Kentucky Center Access Services hotline at 502-566-5111 (V) or 502-566-5140 (TTY)
Monday, June 3: Listening/Story Circles, with Jud Hendrix and Lean Into Louisville
Friday, June 7: A Conversation with the Cast.
Saturday, June 8: Experts Panel, with representatives from DBSA and NAMI
*TW / CW: This script contains pervasive, and possibly upsetting, discussions of aspects of mental health and self-harm.
Kate Barry earned her Bachelors in English with a Theater minor from Bellarmine University in 2008. She has worked with many different companies around town including Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Bunbury Theater, Louisville Repertory Company, Walden Theater, Finnigan Productions and you have probably purchased tickets from her at that little performing arts center on Main Street as well. In 2012, her short play “PlayList” won festival favorite in the Finnigan Festival of Funky Fresh Fun. She has written for LEO Weekly and TheatreLouisville.com as well. Thanks for reading!