The Moors is a place where new ideals form and the weight of happiness is contrasted by the weight of sorrow. The dangerous place of The Moors is more than a setting, it is a mindset that overcomes an individual. Under direction of Casey Seymour Kim and written by Jen Silverman, The Moors was an exceptional dark comedy production.
This production by the Rhode Island College theater department was the first to be held live since February 2020. This no intermission show created an hour and 47 minutes of a purely wacky journey.
Sisters Agitha and Hudley reside in their English home with their maid and mastiff when a new countess arrives. The events in this play circle around the issue of power, a struggle with identity and a search for the truth. The subplot of the Mastiff and the Moor-Hen provides depth and comparison for the scenarios countess Emilie finds herself in.
Agitha, played by Mackenzie Richard, was superb; she contained perfect posture, amplified her voice and portrayed great amounts of emotion despite being masked. Hudley, played by Molly Donovan, was quirky; she was dedicated and devoted to her character's charisma. Countess Emilie, played by Sofia DaSila, created an aura of innocence among the danger of the moors. Marjory/Mallory/Margaret, played by Olivia Merritt was not the only comedian but was the hilarity that carried the show. The Mastiff, played by Perry Barkett, along with the Moor-Hen, played by Autumn Jefferson, allowed the audience to look inward at themselves through the Mastiff and Hen's connection.
Although this play was witty, comedic and insightful it was hard for the viewer to divulge into this 19th century world. The actors in this play were all vaccinated Rhode Island College Students who were regularly tested and yet they still wore masks. Set on the bleak moors of England, the play had an exquisitely simple set and spot on costumes; wearing a mask may have presented further protection from COVID-19 but hindered the atmosphere presented. Facial expressions were hidden causing the actors to cast their emotions with only their eyes and vocal tone.
Despite being masked, each actor and actress spoke loud and concise while utilising the set to their full ability. The whole audience, regardless of seating, was able to see every angle of the characters and view each scene without obstruction. The scenery designed by Katryne Hecht tied the hilarious dialogue to a vivid replica of a 19th century English parlor. Hecht's design allowed the audience, which were seated in a half circle around the set, to see the props and characters from all sides.
A special thanks is given to the production staff of The Moors as the show could not have happened without them. The show which occurred at The Helen Forman Theatre ran from September 29 to October 3. Costumes were designed by Jessie Darrell Jarbadan; Lighting was designed by Alexander P. Sprague; Make-up and hair were designed by Michael Dates and sound was designed by Nicole Brown Frechette Shaw. The stage was managed by Mak Holahan.