SARASOTA – Urbanite Theatre's production of Jennifer Haley's Breadcrumbs takes a harrowing look at the defining aspect of memories and how paralyzing it can be to lose touch with our most seminal "points of reference“ when they are lost to age and disease.
Alida is a famous author who has just been diagnosed with what we presume to be Alzheimer's. Struggling to capture her memories on paper, she reluctantly brings in Beth, an employee at the clinic who is eager to help her reconstruct her memoirs.
Told through flashbacks from a childhood defined by a needy mother who was constantly dragging her from home to home, hoping that each new boyfriend will be the one to pull them out of their struggling life, we learn that Alida sees many familiar themes in Beth's own struggles.
Stage veteran Barbara Redmond is riveting as Alida, gracing the character with a frustrated anger that will be all too familiar to anyone who has ever watched someone slip away to a similar fate.
Barbara Redmond and Brittany Proia
photo by Ryan Finzelber
FSU Asolo/Conservatory graduate Brittany Proia returns to the sun coast having developed much of the enormous potential that her time at Asolo had suggested. Proia is not only excellent as Beth but provides some of the play's most powerful moments while serving as Alida's mother during the seamlessly interwoven flashbacks, which make for a compelling second narrative.
Proia is reunited with fellow Conservatory alum and Urbanite co-founder Brendan Ragan, who does a marvelous job directing the two-member cast through a tightly-paced 75-minute performance. With Breadcrumbs Urbanite has achieved a fine work of theater that manages to delve deep into some very heady themes, while remaining ever accessible to a broad audience.
Breadcrumbs runs through Sept 18. Visit the Urbanite website for ticket information.