Play review: Bravo to theater group’s production of ‘Alma’

I didn’t know about Theatre Battery until last Friday’s Page 1 story by Mark Klaas (“Pertinent play, a ‘very human’ story, hits local stage”). It’s been hiding in plain sight at Kent Station since 2012.

The current production, “Alma (or #nowall),” offers a powerful and moving experience. Kent Station deserves high praise for providing available retail space to the company free of charge. As new tenants come in, Theatre Battery changes its location, making it a bit of a hidden gem. Now it is at 444 Ramsay Way.

The theatre’s mission statement notes, “Theatre Battery tasks local artists to create socially testing and unapologetic work that ignites the community.”

“Alma” has two characters: Alma (Anabel Hovig), who risked her life to cross the border from Mexico into the United States nearly 18 years ago, and her daughter Angel (Klarissa Marie Robles), who at 17 is an American citizen. Both offer riveting performances of an imaginative script by playwright Benjamin Benne under the direction of Brandon J. Simmons.

During the course of 80 minutes, in scenes laced with humor and a wide range of emotions, Alma and Angel navigate the sometimes petty, sometimes profound, conflicts between mother and daughter, all of which are eclipsed by their terrifying realization that Alma soon may be deported.

The play is set in December 2016, the month prior to the inauguration of a new American president.

– Jay V. White

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