By Natalie Leslie
“Star Stuff“ is a pair of one-acts revolving around the effect of commitment in a future where excellence and success are utilitarian.
The first act begins with Nova, played by Emmy Panzica-Piontek, a woman faced with a choice that will determine not only her own future but the future of another. She discusses her test results in an office with Andy, chillingly played by Christoph David Cording. Nova expresses her desire to hold off on any further careers but demote to a lower level in order to pursue a family and husband. The eager and intelligent Andromeda, played by Lindsay Weaver, becomes aware of what she is willing to do to survive.
The second piece examines the concept of marriage and family in a different context, recognizing the sacrifices both parties make when entering in a monogamous relationship. In this near-future time, once married, the couple moves to a different community from singles in the working world, and women give up their careers and socialize entirely within the community of families.
The second act centers on two bridesmaids getting ready for their friend, the bride, to cross over into the married realm. The audience pieces together the norms of the this society, identifiable but different from today’s. The cast does an exceptional job of mixing in some dry humor and keeping the audience’s attention.
The women must reconsider their definition of ambition. Adults, but seemingly all women, are forced to choose between career and family..This performance will make you think about negative and positive aspects of marriage and parenthood and the decisions many women face when deciding to marry, remain single, or have a child.
Playwright Emma Carter deserve credit for creating two enjoyable speculative pieces that invite reflection on current social conditions and gender roles.