MORAINE is "Reader Recommended" by the Chicago Reader and reviewer Chloe Riley.
You can read her review on their site:
"If you're wondering, a moraine is a heap of earth and stones carried and deposited by a glacier. But there's ample deeper meaning within Ryan Patrick Dolan’s new play, which follows four friends dealing with a fifth friend’s cancer treatment. As comics like Julia Sweeney and Tig Notaro have shown, the devastating disease can still be funny, and Dolan’s got the smarts to avoid wallowing in sadness. In turn, director Mary Rose O'Connor has the smarts to involve a brilliant cast, several of whom are improvisers trained in the ancient art of actually listening and responding onstage. As Mark, a bro trying to keep things as they've always been, Caleb Fullen pushes hard to find depth and humor in a character who could be all too unlikable. The result is the opposite of glacial." - Chloe Riley, The Chicago Reader
MORAINE runs through April 18th.
Thurs - Sat at 8pm
Sunday at 2pm
1422 W. Irving Park Road
You can buy tickets here!
While a kernel of "Moraine" is inspired by a friend's passing, Moraine is a love story.
I'm a regular reader of the New York Times Wedding "Vows" section in their Sunday paper. Every week they tell a story about how a newly married couple's courtship developed. I'm always drawn into how people met and what clicked with them. It's the origin story of every family. Kids at one point ask their parents how they met, and will turn that story over and over again to find a clue into their own identity, and who their parents are as people, who they are as a couple, and what, if anything, has changed between the parents since that initial meeting or spark.
It is pretty common to read in the "Vows" section that people usually meet their future spouse when they are dating someone else. They might even be married. Just like anyone, we take notice of people we meet in our lives. As you get older, you learn destiny doesn't exist, but luck and persistence are the what push people together. There is always a downplaying of attraction when these couples mention they first met. It's politics. They don't want to come off as a bad person, and they don't want to hurt a previous boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other. Clearly though, there is a spark, consciously or unconsciously, and in some instances that might be the reason the relationship comes to an end.
It would be a fascinating piece of journalism to accompany the "Vows" article with the "ex" article about who the people were in the preceding relationship to the married couple. What kind of impact did they make on the newlyweds lives? Is there a friendship there? A connection that was strong, but couldn't quite overcome other obstacles?
On the occasional instance when I visit with a past ex-, they'll sometimes drop a piece of analysis on me that kind of shocks me. It's a clairvoyant and true, good or bad, and I realize how well this person got to know me while I spent time with them.
Moraine starts in the present with an estranged couple, Mark and Kelly, at their friends' hospital bedside. Within the context of a larger group of friends, it then bounces back and forth in time as it explores the life cycle of relationship between them Like all of our stories, it's extremely ordinary as well as unique.
Can the love and support of a former couple still stay strong after the relationship becomes inextricably broken? Should it be? Or are some things better left alone? And the memories and feelings you've built up just get mixed in with everything else only to emerge periodically in like little pieces of rocks and dust from the soil, relics of a previous period of time.