My current project is particularly exciting because it’s actually my first direction of a full-production new play premiere. Add to that, we even had the good graces to have the amazingly talented (and supremely nice) Kara Lee Corthron in the room with us for almsot the entire process.
Dawn Thomas, KenYatta Rogers, and Maya Jackson (photo by Ryan Maxwell)
Holly Down in Heaven is a show that I’m super proud of and I’m really pleased that the ideas we brought to the script have come off is such a great way. The major technical challenge of the play is giving life to the 200+ dolls that line Holy’s basement wall and who she two-way communicates with. We came up with a mix of puppetry, voice-over, and lighting effects that work even better than we imagined they would.
The press and reviews have been plentiful–which is particularly exciting for a new play. Here’s a smattering of links and quotes:
“bold, funny … zesty world-premiere production” … “abounds in enjoyable quirkiness, wry incongruities,
and sharp, riposte-peppered dialogue.”
“quirky, thought-provoking … compelling examination of familial bonds, faith, and reason” …
“Maya Jackson gives a revelatory performance as pregnant teen Holly.”
“Under the direction of Forum’s own Michael Dove, the ensemble cast serves the realistic and enchanted elements of the script equally well.”
“Forum Theatre has opened its season strong with this play. I hope Michael Dove keeps on this path of premiering new plays that raise important questions. It’s needed.”
“refreshing and original [...] director Michael Dove sensitively blends humor and poignancy. Under Dove’s direction, the show grows organically as it progresses, starting as a witty and irreverent take on a sad subject, and ending on an earned gravity, without losing any of the script’s sparkle.”
“Director (and Artistic Director) Michael Dove has done quite a wonderful job coordinating what is essentially a cast of hundreds, few of whom could move on their own. And he keeps every actor as real and as matter-of-fact as possible, which makes the lightning, clever dialogue real and meaningful.”