No good deed, etc., etc., ...well, you know the rest. And in one of the most intense pieces you could possibly see, Primal Forces is presenting “An Accident” at Empire Stage.
It's a two hander, victim and victim, mind gaming for 75 minutes. Libby (Elizabeth Price) is in a hospital, comatose. She was run over by a car driven by Anton (Nicholas Wilder).
Lights up, on a stage bare except for a hospital bed, its back facing the house. Libby is standing beside it. She's wearing a simple shift. She peers at the bed, describing her self lying immobile. Fingers, arms, toes, legs, nothing works. Except her brain. But she remembers nothing.
Anton visits. A bearded college professor in academic clothing. The Civil War is his strength. Being a nice guy is his weakness. He remembers everything, his daughter, his ex wife, the cherries, the parking lot, the woman under his wheels.
Price and Wilder are exceptional actors.
Price's Libby lives the denial of Anton's existence, the infinitely slow acceptance of him, her snarling, aggrieved commands, the terrifying shrieks, and her distant, returning memories of the parking lot. There's a touch of humor, eroticism. Is this perhaps, love? Wilder's Anton, desperate to help her, dances his guilt, waves shaman hands across her body, and sinks into the ecstasy of her first timid move.
All these, and
many others, are beats that stay long after the stage lights dim.
In this stark production Director Keith Garsson has delved beneath the physicality of “An Accident” to stress the shattering results of random thoughts.
Written by Lydia Stryk, American playwright now living in Berlin. The play is based on an incident in her life.
The minimal set by Bombshell Productions features an apparent bubble wrap backdrop through which is played the subtle light design of Nate Sykes. Excellent sound by David Hart and costumes by Alberto Arroyo.
“An Accident” plays through May 27 at Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Drive, Ft. Lauderdale.