A Walk in the Woods (Timeline Theatre): Powerless Politicos, Powerful Cast

A Walk in the Woods (Timeline Theatre):  Powerless Politicos, Powerful Cast

Even when I know there is no possible future outcome, I’ll hold a meeting anyway.  Maybe it’s out of courtesy or curiosity.  But I’ll schedule it.  I just run it differently! In an interview, I ask personal questions.  On a date, I ask impersonal questions.  It might be confusing but if the other person thought about it, he would know exactly where WE are going... nowhere! TimeLine Theatre presents A WALK IN THE WOODS.  USA verses Russia!  In Switzerland, the United States and Soviet Union conduct arms negotiations.  During the summit, opposing diplomats take a break.  The Russian veteran tries to get to know the American newcomer.  Her earnest counterpart wants to generate a Super Powers arms deal.  The Russian is not that naive.   Over four seasons, A WALK IN THE WOODS builds alignment between two foreign dignitaries but not necessarily their nations.

Playwright Lee Blessing penned a play inspired by the historical walk in the woods by Paul Nitze and Yuli Kvitsinsky. During the 1982 Geneva nuclear disarmament talks, the twosome made news with an unorthodox stroll outside and away from opposing factions.  Blessing wrote the witty play for two men.  TimeLine Theatre received permission from Blessing to cast a woman.  Janet Ulrich Brooks (Anya) steps perfectly into the role.  Brooks delivers her lines superbly reserved with a hint of playfulness. Her subtle nuisances effectively garner laughter.  During an exchange about dry eyes, a quick glance by Brooks adds a hysterical inference. Under the direction of Nick Bowling, both Brooks and David Parkes (John) engage in amusing poker playing banter.  Parkes endears as he unravels from superiority smugness to there-is-no-Santa reality.  The bipartisan synergy fascinates as Brooks tries to communicate to Parkes without saying too much.  It’s a clever depiction of national authorities without any real power.

The woods are a colorful backdrop for the political tryst.  Scenic Designer Brian Sidney Bembridge and Projections Designer Mike Tutaj work together to create seasonal changes.  Bembridge has staggered cut-out tree shapes.  Tutaj projects video on the trees to designate the time period.  I especially liked the summer leaves fluttering visual whereas winter starkness is still.  The nature imagery adds to the character development.  It’s a pleasant setting for discussions on global destruction.

A WALK IN THE WOODS is a stroll back through the Cold War. Timeline has cast sublime  politicos for the 80’s flashback hike.  

Running Time:  Two hours includes an intermission
SPECIAL NOTE:  At Theatre Wit, 1229 W. Belmont
Written by Lee Blessing
Directed by Nick Bowling
Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm
Fridays at 8pm
Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm
Sundays at 2pm
Thru November 20th
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