by ERIKA SASSEVILLE
Based on the 1850 novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter is the story of Hester Prynne (Leah Christine) who commits adultery in colonial Massachusetts and is punished by wearing the titular scarlet “A” on her clothing for the rest of her life. She raises her daughter, Pearl (11 year-old Katie Vleth) alone and shunned by her neighbors. The secrets she keeps eventually come back to haunt her and the people she loves.
The 150 year old story finds new life in this adaptation. The company of villagers are ever-present, creating soundscapes and physical barriers to emphasize the tension between characters. Leah Christine plays Hester Prynne with sincerity and poise. The story rises and falls with the two points of tension in her life, Roger Chillingworth (Rob Andersen) and Arthur Dimmesdale (Theo Ebarb). Andersen plays an excellent schemer, while Ebarb shows a soft side and deep emotional turmoil as Dimmesdale.
Using a simple set of wooden scaffolding and benches (designed by John Rigg), (lumin) theater lab created an exceptional collaborative show that doesn’t shy away from the story’s darker themes. This adaptation, written by Kelli Tatum, was originally produced in 1995. This production is directed by Libby Wasylik and produced by (lumin) theater lab in Hastings, MN. The production is performed in the Hastings City Hall building with performances on February 15th, 16th, 17th, 22nd and 23rd all at 7:00pm.
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