Front Row Reviewers

Proclaim Your Passion at Siphysus Theatre Company’s Chains of Dew in Layton, Utah

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers

By LeAnna Hamblin

In only its second production, the fledgling Sisyphus Theatre Company performs a compelling adaptation of Susan Glaspell’s Chains of Dew at On Pitch Performing Arts Center in Layton, Utah. Chains of Dew is a comedy which brings to light the lack of women’s rights in the 1920s through the fight for legalization of birth control. During this era, women did not have the right to use any kind of birth control and, regardless of life circumstances, were expected to bear children throughout their childbearing years. Director and company founder Megan Ashley Chase says she chose this play, and started Sisyphyus, to bring empowerment and opportunity to women.

Through the course of the story, activist Nora Powers (Madeline Thatcher) presses forward in a society run by men to educate and inform people of the blatant disregard for women’s rights when it comes to their bodies. Thatcher is a powerful actress who embodies the strength needed for this role. She is expressive and engages the audience through her strong connections with the cast. She has an especially strong connection with Sean Sweeney, who plays Seymore Standish, the poet who only wants to be understood. It is through their common goal of being understood that they find a forbidden love with one another. Sweeney’s facial expressions and intensity bring his role to another level, especially as Seymore is caught up in affairs, and his wife, Diantha “Dotty” Standish (Caitlyn Laurie Bell), is caught up in becoming part of the women’s movement.

Bell is enthusiastic in this role as she transforms from the doting housewife to woman activist. Her connection with Thatcher is palpable. The two of them make for exquisite entertainment. Kristina Wilson, who plays Mrs. Standish Senior, Seymore’s overbearing mother, brings quite a few surprises to this role. She is a powerhouse in a tiny package. Leon Whittaker (Michael Fletcher) and James O’Brien (Christopher Taylor) are an interesting duo as they both try to get Seymore to the level of success they think he deserves. Thatcher does an impressive job as he embodies the role of the older, more experienced gentleman. Taylor is flawless as the Irishman who seems to be oblivious to what is happening around him while being in perfect control of his surroundings at all times.

Dotty’s closest friends, Mrs. McIntyre (Hannah Orrock) and Edith (Catherine Mortimer) are appalled at the change Dotty has made in her convictions in life. No longer is Dotty the god-fearing woman she once was, and they are unsure of how to relate to her. Orrock does an outstanding job of playing the pretentious 1920s woman who is too stuck in the ways of the previous generation to accept the change around her. Mortimer, although not onstage as much as some of the other actors, is impactful as Edith and gives a memorable performance. Her time with Sweeney is short; however, there is an immediate connection which is pertinent to the plot of the story.

The production team does an excellent job of bringing the feel of the 1920s to the stage through the set, costumes, and hair. Lighting and sound designer, Colby Avis, provides a comforting atmosphere, including period music to set the mood of the forthcoming story. Chase has every reason to be proud of the work that is put into this thought-provoking production. OPPA is a quaint space which perfectly houses this production. The ambience of the theater gives the audience a safe place to be at one with the thoughts that Chains of Dew is sure to provoke.

 This story is as important today as it was then and appropriate for audiences 13 and up. Don’t miss this incredible production.

Sisyphus Theatre Company Presents Chains of Dew, based on the book by Susan Glaspell, adapted from the original script by Cheryl Black.
September 6-15, 2019, 7:30 PM, Friday-Saturday
Tickets: $16
Sisyphus Theatre Company Facebook Page
Chains of Dew Facebook Event
On Pitch Performing Arts Company, 587 N Main St, Layton Utah 84041
Contact: 385-209-1557,
On Pitch Performing Arts Company Facebook Page

Photo Credit: Amanda K. Smith

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers


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