Few people, I expect, if asked to discern the most dramatic event in the life of a genocide survivor, would single out the struggle to write his or her memoir. Sonja Linden’s decision to dramatize that particular episode in her epically titled play could signal either a lack of imagination or a taste for self-aggrandizement—perhaps even both. It’s that choice, after all, that allows Linden to draw directly upon her own experiences as a writer-in-residence at a London refugee center, and to write a surrogate for herself into her two-person drama. In Victory Garden’s production, Yetide Badaki brings a bruised humanity to the role of Juliette, the refugee from Rwanda who seeks to publish a personal history of her country’s descent into madness. And Lance Baker is competent as Simon, the low-key Henry Higgins stand-in who teaches her the importance of finding one’s voice in the process of memorializing ritualized slaughter. Director Andrea Dymond’s perfunctory staging doesn’t do much to illuminate Linden’s hackneyed text, but it’s not clear that any efforts could salvage this flawed conception. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.