‘Full Bloom’ at Arcturus Theater Company by Marlene Hall


Arcturus Theater Company’s production of Suzanne Bradbeer’s Full Bloom is a story about a teenager, named Phoebe (Kyra Soleil) who is coming of age and whose life is paralleling the book Catcher in the Rye. Meanwhile her mom (Alison Bauer) is coping with a divorce and growing older. Her mom’s friends and neighbors are coping with growing older in a society that values attractiveness and youth  Phoebe’s new friend Jesse (Noah Harrington) is coping with fitting into a new town where he has no friends.

The cast of 'Full Bloom.' Photo courtesy of Arcturus Theater Company.
The cast of ‘Full Bloom.’ Photo courtesy of Arcturus Theater Company.

Director Daniel Bumgardner has an exceptional group of actors to work with and he receives terrific performances from every member of his talented cast. Soleil does an excellent job conveying the fragility and confusion of being a young teenager. Alison Bauer who plays the mom, effortlessly conveys the pain and of confusion of coping with a divorce, trying to date again while dealing with a confused teenager. Christine Callsen, who plays the married neighbor Crystal Dawn, imbues lightness into the play as she tries to hold everyone together as they all go through life. The play is lush with symbolism, depth, and witticism. Peter Orvetti gives an impressive performance as Jim Giannini, a man struggling to deal with life changes. Noah Harrington did a great job as Jessie Williams, as an earnest young man trying to fit in.

Stephen Strosnider’s set is perfect for portraying a New York City apartment with a stoop and the piano is cleverly utilized to push the show along to the next show. Strosnider also provides the lighting design. Costume design is provided by Adalia Vera Tonneyck, and make-up by Christine Wasilewski.

If you are looking for a play that is deep and thoughtful, go see Full Bloom.

Running Time: 80 minutes, with a 15-minute intermission.

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Full Bloom plays through August 24, 2013 at All Souls Episcopal Church – 
2300 Cathedral Avenue NW
, Washington, DC. Purchase tickets online, or by calling (571)-239-2871.

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Marlene Hall grew up an army brat and has lived all over the world and in Washington, DC where she was constantly exposed to theater and music. Marlene graduated from the University of Virginia where she wrote for the Cavalier Daily interviewing musicians. Commissioned as an Air Force officer, she served 8 years. She now works as a realtor with eXp Realty. In addition, Marlene dabbles in improvisational comedy and has taken classes at the famed iO Theater in Chicago and the DC Improv. She is very active in the DC charity and social scene and contributes her time to veterans’ organizations Team Rubicon and Team Red, White, and Blue. She also was a supernumerary in the Washington National Opera’s Carmen with opera singer Denyce Graves. She loves the music and theater scene in DC and goes to as many concerts and shows as possible.

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