Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Sister in This House by Wendy Kesselman

Okay. This one was surprisingly disturbing. And let's talk about why. On the surface (and honestly, for the majority of the play), it seems like a harmless, almost dry dramatic text about two sisters who work as maids in the same house and about the mother and daughter they work for. Most of the conversations revolve around new hats and embroidery and polishing silverware. The only moments of discord are oddly highlighted (mostly silent) exchanges, looks, etc. between women. It is not until the near end of the play that we realize that the two sisters are lovers. Yeah. I'm still trying to find the foreshadowing for that little turn of events. Did not see it coming. In the end, they are discovered by the mother and daughter who they proceed to violently murder (including ripping out the mother's eyes). The younger sister is sentenced to years of hard labor and the older sister is hung by the neck until dead. Again, I say it. Yeah. To make matters creepier, this play is based on a real murder trial of two maids. Some compelling (if watery) monologues but overall, not a play that left me with a real impression of anything except sorrow, loss, and pain.