The rolling world premiere of Blight, a new play by playwright and DC Theatre Scene writer John Bavoso, is being produced by Pinky Swear Productions at the Anacostia Playhouse.
“Silvia is looking to lay down roots and start a family and they find this nice, large house in a quaint neighborhood that is in their price range,” Pauline Lamb, who plays Silvia, says. “We go to buy the house but little does Cat (Rachel Manteuffel) know, the house is the childhood home of a boy who shot up a Planned Parenthood [center].”
Bavoso has chosen not to focus on the mass shooting; rather, he is interested in the community’s recovery and aftermath and how people decide to move forward after tragic events.
“Silvia didn’t have much, growing up, and she wants a nice house and the only reason it’s even in their budget is because of the stigma attached to it,” Lamb continues. “She is very much in love with the house but facing adversity from community members for whom the house is a negative. Silvia is very stubborn and that creates the conflict in the play.”
Produced by Pinky Swear Productions
October 18 – November 11, 2018
Details and tickets
This is something of a new experience for her. Since graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and moving to D.C., her involvement in theater has been mostly as a choreographer. Lamb admits she was somewhat surprised when Karen Lange, artistic director of Pinky Swear Productions, for whom she had choreographed Use All Available Doors and Bavoso invited her to audition for the role of Silvia.
[adsanity_rotating align=”aligncenter” time=”10″ group_id=”1455″ /]
Speaking of Blight, Lamb says, “It’s really intriguing, funny, snippy and a beautifully written piece of art. I feel very fortunate to be a part of it.”
Director Ryan Maxwell was intrigued with the idea of the play since first hearing about it and loves how Bavoso explores our need to make a place our own and how that welcoming place can become a dangerous place.
“That’s a necessary thing to explore in any era, particularly now that the climate is ripe in how to define who we are on a city level and a national level,” he says. “There’s a particular set of dialogues going on as to what it means to be part of this place we call America. John has created a microcosm with everything from love to hate in an incredibly eloquent way.”
Maxwell has worked with Manteuffel since its first workshop more than three years ago, so he was glad to have her continue with the role.
“Her voice has been a part of this for a long time. I love taking a process from the first read and then seeing that same performer on stage.” he says. “As a couple, Pauline and Rachel just have an easy intimacy on stage; you always feel there is a real relationship there and that’s critical when playing a married couple.”
“As long as you have people who you love in your life for as long as they love you—whether present or not, it is possible to move on and rebuild, Lamb said. “Sometimes, we do things that some view as unforgivable, but if we connect, love and support each other, nothing is completely unforgivable.”