THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

Stephanie Dunnam and Catherine D. DuBord in <em>Breadcrumbs</em>

Review: Breadcrumbs | WingSpan Theatre Company | Bath House Cultural Center


Follow the Trail

WingSpan Theatre’s Breadcrumbs, a wrenching tale of diminishing memory, weaves the past and present of two unlikely women together through fairytales, Post-It Notes and sheer desperation.  



published Thursday, October 13, 2016

Photo: Lowell Sargeant
Breadcrumbs at WingSpan Theatre Company

 

Dallas — If you’ve never taken pen to paper considering a worst-case scenario of your own aging dementia, you well might be prompted to do so after seeing Breadcrumbs, Jennifer Haley’s wrenching play about a terrified writer beset by Alzheimer’s disease, and a scattered young caregiver who longs to help her.

WingSpan Theatre Company co-founder Susan Sargeant directs the regional premiere of Haley’s 2010 play, written two years before the playwright’s critically lauded The Nether, about the jarring impact of virtual reality technology on human relationships. Both plays dramatize the deep human need for narrative, for a fairytale, a fable, a theorem—anything to link the moments of our lives to some framework of meaning in which we recognize ourselves and others. We need a story.

Photo: Lowell Sargeant
Breadcrumbs at WingSpan Theatre Company

Alida (Stephanie Dunnam), a reclusive writer of some note, furiously declares she cannot remember the “words, words, words” to write her memoir. She’s hanging on by a strained thread of hope and a double-pack of Sticky Notes when she appears in a local clinic for a diagnostic test.

Beth (Catherine D. DuBord), a nurse’s aid supplementing her part-time job as a barkeep, flummoxes the files and calls Alida the wrong name. Then Beth makes up a crazy story based on her own crippled personal life to test Alida’s short-term memory.  Hardly a relationship made in heaven.

In fact, the journey the two women embark upon is through the metaphorical woods of the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel (Hansel is automatically crossed from the cast). Angry Alida grudgingly allows eager, easily seduced Beth to research words and places and to help her recall the breadcrumbs of her childhood memories before the voracious disease gobbles them all up.

This odd couple share a common quest as they travel through Nick Brethauer’s elegantly suggestive set design at the Bath House Cultural Center, of Grimm trees fore and aft, surrounding a simple desk in the middle of the stage. Both women look over their shoulders at a troubling past, and rely on one another to keep the story of their present lives viable, from moment to moment. Beth needs a place to crash when she once more leaves a cheating boyfriend. Alida needs a link to reality as her grip on day-to-day events becomes uncertain.

Dunnam’s Alida is a beautiful wreck. Her frazzled curls flair and her anguished face reflects her pain at losing her identity to an “infinite, indifferent darkness.” Her eyes grow wild and narrow when she fears the motives of her young fan and researcher. In the scenes recalling her vagabond childhood with a helplessly romantic mother, Dunnam’s face lights up briefly. She sits akimbo on the desk and asks fearless, smarty-pants questions that point to her future as a writer.

DuBord is a touchingly vulnerable Beth, at sea in the world of jobs and men, she latches onto Alida like a life raft, even though the aging novelist is a bitchy taskmaster in the throes of a diseased paranoia who rarely tosses her caretaker a crumb of kindness. In the memory sequences, DuBord steps exquisitely and feelingly into the role of Alida’s hapless mother, a starry-eyed woman drawn to men bound to hurt and desert her. DuBord, her jaw locked and her eyes tearing, finds a toughness somewhere in this flaky young woman that enables her to stand by the deteriorating woman she is determined to befriend.

Under Sargeant’s sharp and intuitive direction, we never lose track of where the characters are in time and space. When the 75-minute show is done, we have a keener insight into how seeming opposites attract, and how they illuminate each others’ paths into the woods of the past and the blank canvas of future. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Follow the Trail
WingSpan Theatre’s Breadcrumbs, a wrenching tale of diminishing memory, weaves the past and present of two unlikely women together through fairytales, Post-It Notes and sheer desperation.  
by Martha Heimberg

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit