Out of Sync is a show that wears its heart on its sleeve. It is a personal tale of a budding relationship held down by the tragedy of long lost love. The play jumps between past and present as we see the charmingly awkward Nathan start to fall in love with a peppy young professional Petra, only to be haunted by memories of his last girlfriend, Amy, who suffered from a deep depression.
It’s a beautiful story that is equal parts bitter and sweet. At first glance it looks to be a relatively simple tale of old love influencing new, but what it turns out to be is far more complicated than that, as the audience and characters both begin to realize. There are hard, unanswerable questions at play here, and they are never cleanly gift wrapped or swept away. Questions of love, safety, and self worth bleed all over the stage until it’s far too late to bandage them up.
That is to say Out of Sync is a raw play that deals with its issues of mental illness with reality and respect. But it is also graceful in its discussion and – more so – its presentation. Dispersed throughout the play are moments of powerful choreography that go far into offering a physical representation of what it can mean to suffer from depression. The movement goes a long way, adding another theatrical layer to its subject matter and offering some impressively fluid transitions between the past and the present.
Out of Sync
by Katie Woods
Directed by Mary Cat Gill
Choreography: Alison Talvacchio
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Similarly, the dialogue amongst all of its characters is, for the most part, elegant. The easy standout is Amy, whose monologues range from heart warming to heart wrenching as she describes how it feels to fall in love but also what it means to live with depression. Her lines are poetic and ring unflinchingly true; they resonate across the theatre like a pin drop. Small and sharp and halting altogether.
In some ways, Out of Sync is a small story, a personal exploration into what it is to live and love with mental illness from the perspective of two people who need to come to terms with it tragically in retrospect. And yet this small story resonates and reverberates within the hearts and minds of its audience. It is an intimate play that feels big and universal. It’s a story about those things that define us as people, all of those moments – big and small – that make up how we see ourselves and how the world sees us. Sometimes when both of those line up we call it love. And sometimes how we see ourselves and how the world sees us changes and we fall out of it. And every time it changes us completely. That, among so many other important things, is what Out of Sync explores. It does so with care and love, every step of the way.