Three Days of Rain

By - Feb 18th, 2008 02:52 pm
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By Charise Dawson

Windfall Theatre’s Three Days of Rain, the Pulitzer-Prize nominated drama, opened on Friday, February 15. The small three-person drama plays in the intimate space of Village Church Arts through March 1.

The play opens with Walker (Jeremy Welter), a wandering thirty-something, crashing in the unoccupied Manhattan apartment of his late father, a famous architect. Walker talks erratically about his nearly mute and always aloof father and his crazy, out-of-touch mother. When we meet his sister Nan (Angela Beyer), it is easy to see that Walker shares many of his neurotic mother’s traits.

The siblings meet to divide their father’s inheritance. Joining them is Pip (Robert W. C. Kennedy), whose late father was the architect’s design partner. When the lawyers determine that Pip is to be left with the landmark residence designed by the architects, the drama heightens and the three form theories about their parents’ lives, behaviors and choices.

Walker becomes fascinated by his father’s diary, which described years at a time with emotionless, fragmented entries. The siblings brush off the first short entry, “Three days of rain,” as a weather report. The second act of the play reveals much more about those three rainy days.

In Act Two, Ned, Lina and Theo appear in the same Manhattan loft, but 35 years earlier. Theo (Kennedy) is a charming and promising architect. Lina (Beyer) is a Southern-belle transplanted to the city. Ned (Welter) is an unsure and stuttering architect. All three characters are full of hope and life, but things change during three days of rain that change the paths of their lives — and the lives of the children they will someday have — forever.

All three actors fill the space nicely with movement and voice in this ensemble piece.Nan and Walker (Beyer and Welter) weave together the story of a terrible night during their childhoods gracefully and brightly. Walter captures Ned fully in Act Two, using his eyes to say what his stuttering character cannot. Robert W. C. Kennedy plays both Pip and Theo with charm and flair. His characters have a knack for storytelling, and Kennedy executes the part seamlessly.

Lighting designer Larry Birkett creates a simple arrangement that illuminates the stage and actors. Props and scenery are designed to suggest the same apartment in two periods: an unoccupied loft in 1995 and a tenanted loft in 1960. Both arrangements feel too pleasant for the mood that was created by the script and actors. In the second act, Lina describes Ned’s dwelling as a “dilapidated apartment,” yet the physical environment was neat and tidy.

Overall, Windfall Theatre’s mission is to search for answers and provoke questions about the world we live in, an aim that Three Days of Rain appropriately meets. The play’s exploration of how the decisions of parents shape the destiny of their children charges the audience to decipher what influences each character and answer the question, “How well can one person fully know another person?”

Richard Greensberg’s Three Days of Rain, presented by Windfall Theatre, runs at Village Church Arts at 130 E. Juneau February 15 through March 1. All performances are at 8 p.m. Call 414-332-3963 for tickets.

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