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  • Oliver Boon

Silent Joy- Coraline meets Curious Incident meets Bridge to Terabithia

Starring: Maggie Dorfman, John Michael Logie, Carolina Reynoso, Ramzi Kelley, Joshua Lopez, Christopher Flores, Brian Bautista, Megan Walker, Janette Valenzo, Aaron Griffin

Composer/Percussionist: Matt Ordaz

Musicians: Matt Ordaz, Chrissy Johnson

Book/Director/Producer: Melissa Ordaz

Assistant Director: Christen Rangel

Story/Book: Zach Beckert

Production Design: Alysia Smith

Sound Design: Megan Walker

Lighting Design: Greg Crafts

Additional Material: Company Artists

Venue: Studio/Stage

Coraline: A girls coming of age in a dark fantasy world paralleling her real life, accompanied by an unwittingly silent male companion.

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time Tight Ensemble movement, creating an engaging world with minimal set. The protagonist speaking candidly her problems with the audience.

Bridge to Terabithia: Had to mention Bridge to Terabithia because of the similar type of fantasy forest/woodland world and I found parts very reminiscent especially the scene dealing with grief.

Based on an upcoming Graphic Novel. Silent Joy tells the story of A troubled girl from a broken girl meets a boy with his lips sewn shut and they embark on a journey going through various gates that reflect her past trauma.

Wow wow wow where to start? I loved this show. I was in awe of how slick the movement and physicality of the ensemble were. They should be commended for the way they created the world with such minimal set. The little girl, played by Caroline Reynoso with such an innocence that you as the audience are brought into her pain and grief. Maggie Dorfman has a lot to do as the girl and more than rises to the occasion. This is a minor critique but i wish the girl and her younger self wore the same red sneakers. The girl wore grey and while they wore the same type of hoodie, if the shoes matched it would have just clicked even more that they were the same person. The actor playing Joy was able to communicate so much without the use of any words. He had a very supportive brotherly warmth to him that made you want to like him. At this point, the young adventurer fantasy reflecting reality genre has been well worn territory. But Silent Joy brings with it, so much originality, and comes from a darker and more melancholy place that it sets itself out apart from the rest.

They sometimes projected Joy’s speech into the backwall which seemed unneeded a lot of the time as the audience can imagine what he says based on the girls replies. Studio/stage is a great theater space. It felt like there was more stage than seating and being so close to the stage really immerses you in the world created. The writing often switched between whimsical dialogue and a sort of spoken word monologue. At the beginning, maybe it was purposefully trying to disorient me in how swift and intense the opening transitions were, presenting the girl being constantly tormented in her school and home life.

The live percussion and cello work wonders at creating both a magical and chilling setting.

The show recently received the Encore Award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019, and so there will be a final show on 28th July. If you want an original take on a popular genre, go see this play!

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