Review Fix Exclusive Coverage of SoloNOVA Arts Festival: Convergence Review: Thought-Provoking
It’s a timeless question that has plagued mankind and is disturbingly conveyed in Jennifer Lane’s play Convergence- a part of the soloNova Arts Festival -which chronicles a family man’s tragic journey in pursuit of its answer.
The play begins with a somewhat bewildered man talking into a camera-his image protected onto the screen – describing a story he told his asthmatic daughter during late-night trips to the hospital. Then the voice of his daughter is heard asking him and the audience is transported through a journey of events that led him to his fate.
Avery Pearson gives a compelling performance of the descent of a mathematician and family man. He is also a devout man of faith, more specifically an eschatologist- a believer that he is living in the last days before the Second Coming. The play seeks to capture how this belief leads him to make a shocking decision that has devastating consequences.
Pearson does an impressive job of capturing his character’s brilliance and his madness. In once scene he’s explaining to his teenage daughter the mathematical intricacies of Gabriel’s Horn (the instrument which is used to signal the arrival of Judgment Day), which is both infinite and finite, only to later call up a Christian radio station telling the host one should cancel his cable subscription and throw away perishable food as “practical” preparation for Judgment Day.
While praising Pearson’s solo performance, credit must also be given to the amazing group that helps bring this story to life. Jennifer Lane has crafted a script that explores religion, reason and the choices being made when contemplating both. Director Calla Videt and Set Designer Grace Laubacher have crafted a amazing backdrop with their use of video projectors, sound effects and lighting carefully depict a fragile mental condition of a man whose career is guided by reason can be driven to do something so unthinkable.
The most poignant example is using a series of video segments of the wife and daughters that serve as flashbacks, filmed from the perspective of the main character using the family video camera meant to capture the intimacies of family life. They give off a chilling sense of voyeurism and chronicle the character’s decline as seen by his interactions with his loved ones.
While Pearson and Lane do an excellent job capturing the paradoxes of mankind, it’s still an awful lot to chew in a forty-five minute production. Long after the show had ended, you’ll still replay parts of the play in your head, as you attempt to grasp what had happened.
Convergence is a poignant and thought-provoking depiction of the human condition; it seems more directed toward a certain niche who could appreciate the intense subject matter.
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