Photos: Jake Steinman
Restless Artists Theatre presents “Ironbound,” a tale about Darja, a Polish immigrant in America trying to live comfortably with her son. However, the men in her life always seem to make this difficult for her. The play is 80 minutes long with no intermission.
The most impressive aspect of the play is attention to detail of the set. Prop trash, painted-on dirt, and graffiti that referenced Polish pop culture (i.e. DZEM) fill the stage and portray the run-down bus stop that seems to harvest many of Darja’s critical life moments. The entirety of the play took place here, with no changes of scenery, and led to the play having some slow moments.
There were some time changes in the play. The audience got to see Darja as a 20-year-old who just moved to America, a 34-year-old in an abusive relationship, and as present day 42-year-old in a relationship with a serial cheater.
Due to the static set, there was little change done to signify these time jumps. I wish there were separate actresses to play younger and older Darja to make it easier to tell when the story is taking place.
The characters of Darja and Maks had Polish accents, and at times even spoke Polish. Debra Lynn Hull, playing Darja, did a good job with maintaining her accent throughout. As someone who speaks Polish, a minor criticism would be the inaccurate pronunciation of the Polish words.
I was told they rehearsed these sections based on a phonetic glossary at the back of the playbook. If they had put the words into a translator, though, they would’ve had much better results.
While I don’t expect the cast to learn a new language for this play, one of the final monologues was in full Polish. If there had been a mix of English with a few Polish words sprinkled in instead it would be easier for the audience to understand.
With static scenery, a slow storyline, and off-the-mark Polish this production was an unfortunate miss for me.
- Web: http://rattheatre.org/ironbound/
- Written by: Martyna Majok
- Directed by: D. A. Mishler
- Evening Show Dates: 10/24, 10/25, 10/26, 10/31, 11/1, 11/2 @ 7:30 PM
- Matinee Show Dates: 10/27, 11/3 @ 2 PM
- $15 online through rattheatre.org or brownpapertickets.com
- $20 at the door
- Senior, student, and military discounts available
- Derek Sullivan as Tommy
- Hunter Dunn as Vic
- Tanner Alan Sebastian as Maks
- Debra Lynn Hull as Darja