We’re in a college classroom where five bright young women are having a spirited discussion about Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. The characters are finely delineated through Ms. Colón’s pungent dialogue that is slyly packed with academic lingo. Their interactions are laden with thoughtful arguments espousing differing points of view. “Words mean things!” One of them has to leave due to comical complications arising from her having her period. There’s a lot of delightful reveries charting the character’s personal lives and their Proud youthful femininity.
The play totally switches gears as gunshots are heard and in a harrowing fashion it is revealed that a campus shooting is underway. The terror intensifies as the shooter barges in. Surprising plot twists occur, wildly dramatizing Colón’s emerging incendiary theme as it reaches a sober conclusion.
Presented by The Flea Theater, Good Friday is superbly performed by its resident company of multiracial actors known as The Bats. They are Dolores Avery, Caturah Brown, Raiane Cantisano, Clea DeCrane, Ure Egbuho, Erin Noll and Pearl Shin. To go into detail regarding their particular roles would spoil the play’s startling revelations.
Levity and tension are attained through director Sherri Eden Barber’s fiery staging combined with snappy sequences of overlapping dialogue and humorous cross talk. Violence/Intimacy choreographer Rocio Mendez’s breathtaking work recreates the dread and goriness of the situation.
Scenic designer Kate Noll’s minutely detailed classroom becomes a claustrophobic trap. Surrounding it are Jess Medenbach’s crashing projection design with its bold imagery that takes us to the outside world with a montage of informative tweets from those all over the campus. Lighting designer Paige Seber provides clinical eeriness. The ominous tone is magnified by sound designer Megan Deets Culley’s horrific gunshots and modulation of dramatic musical passages. Terrific present day styles are vividly rendered by Christelle Matou’s highly individualized costume design.
Philosophical cross sectional hostage dramas have long been a staple of dramatic literature with The Petrified Forest (1935) and The Desperate Hours (1955) being notable examples. In Good Friday, Kristiana Rae Colón boldly contributes to the genre by espousing an imagined militant counterculture solution for the issue of male sexual aggression.
Good Friday (through March 18, 2019)
The Flea, 20 Thomas Street, in Manhattan
For tickets, call 212-226-0051 or visit http://www.theflea.org
Running time: 75 minutes with no intermission