By Ismeal Carillo
The emotion was felt through the theater in one of the final performances of Sam Shepard’s “Buried Child” presented in the Proscenium Theater on Nov. 22.
A family secret is revealed after a rollercoaster of laughter, mental abuse and sadness.
David C. Hernandez plays Dodge, the family father and husband, whose performance convinces the audience that his illness has taken him prisoner and is almost ready to let go of life, but not before revealing his secret in a way to get back at his wife, Halie.
Hernandez’s character although he’s a stubborn drunk becomes one of the audiences favorite making everyone laugh throughout the whole play.
Halie, played by Kathryn Ventress, is the family’s mother. Even though she was not visible for the few first minutes of the play, her voice could be felt and made it easy to see her character was sarcastic while trying to keep the image of the family as clean as possible.
Joe Robert Mejia plays Tilden, Dodge and Halie’s oldest son, who had obviously been through a lot and although quiet and a bit of a push-over, the craziness in his eyes can almost tell a story on their own.
Gabriela Maldonado portrayed Shelly, whose character was broken down emotionally through the play.
Shelly who is a smart-aleck woman from Los Angeles who comes to visit the family with Vince becomes an important part of the play.
Vince, the grandson, was played by Jose Gonzalez and added a bit of comedic relief to lighten the darkness and intensity of the play.
Bradley, played by Miguel Delgado, is a great example of the different emotions in the play. Strong and aggressive, he does as he pleases terrorizing Shelly, but when it comes to his mother Halie, he is weak and almost pathetic – broken down by his mother’s words.
Steven Ledesma played Father Dewis, who although cheerful and comedic it is clear that Halie puts a sort of fear in him.
Although Bradley and Father Dewis were smaller roles in the play, they helped tie the whole performance together.
The characters really made the emotions come through to the audience. Laughter could be heard throughout the theater during the comedic scenes and complete silence during the serious parts.
The set displays the old family farm that has obviously been neglected, while the lighting makes the audience feel that it’s a rainy day in Illinois.
Chatter of the performances could be heard as people left the theater.