THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

\"The Catch\" at DVA Productions

Review: The Catch | DVA Productions | Hardy and Betty Sanders Theatre


What's the Catch?

At DVA Productions, a new play by a young playwright, The Catch, needs more time to gestate.



published Tuesday, March 26, 2013
2 comments


The news hook for The Catch, presented by DVA Productions at the Fort Worth Community Center’s Sanders Theater, is that local playwright Jordan E. Cooper is an 18-year-old high school junior. Unfortunately, that’s also the bad news. This is a piece for a youth workshop, the sort of ambitious undertaking by a very young person that earns raves from family and friends…but needs a lot more time to grow up. 

This overlong kitchen-sink drama (evocative set by David Ruffin) of a family struggling with the impact of HIV/AIDS in 1994 Chicago would challenge the most mature playwright. Mom and Dad are both HIV-positive. Dad is a recovering and repentant drug addict, once a respectable accountant, now long out of work. Mom works endless hours and worries about their son, a broody high schooler who dreams of giving his mother money, a big house, and “help” of her own. Father and son strike sparks whenever their paths cross, and (not enough yet?) Dad is holding on to some secrets that will Change Everyone’s Lives. 

Not that the mostly adult cast, veterans all, aren’t trying their level best. As parents Marcus and Kathy, able actors Kendrick Mays and Shanidrea Evans have their moments. But moments are all they get, as the script ping-pongs from emotion to emotion without building a reality that will sustain it all. At one moment, these parents are facing the worst tragedy of their lives. But only seconds later, we’re asked to believe Marcus has shifted into “let’s cheer the little lady up” mode, cajoling Kathy into dancing to their favorite tune. As another character named Marcus (he’s one of the secrets), Aaron Petite also does his best with a quiet, rather formless role: after the lurching emotions of the other characters, his stillness comes as a relief, in fact. As teen son Trey, playwright/actor Jordan E. Cooper has an authentically rangy, all-over-the-room body language, but doesn’t quite convince us of his character’s growing desperation. 

The script offers an abundance of messages, the clearest of them connecting with the title. Life will always throw you curve balls, says the script. And each of us shows what we’re made of by how (or if) we make “the catch.” Grab onto that curve ball, take control of it, and you drain its power to hurt or harm—you take charge of your own destiny. 

Under artistic director Sheran Goodspeed Keyton, DVA Productions, Inc. has earned good-to-great reviews in the last couple of years for a mix of original musicals (their strong suit) and straight plays (Steel Magnolias is up next). Their educational outreach programs and youth theater workshops are a growing presence in the city. And it’s an admirable thing to have, as the company states, a commitment to “emerging” writers. But it isn’t fair to any young artist to have work brought before the public that is far, far away from being ready for a primetime viewing. Thanks For Reading




Comments:

Jonathan Norton writes:
Wednesday, March 27 at 11:16AM

I've been troubled by this review since reading it yesterday afternoon. I can appreciate the critics comments, and her right to make such comments. I have not seen The Catch and unfortunately will not be able to make it out before it closes. However, I stand on the side of encouraging young talent, and not discouraging it. Therefore it is my great hope that Mr. Cooper CONTINUES to write - and not let the tone or content of this review discourage him. Please keep writing Mr. Cooper. PLEASE. And kudos to Ms. Keyton and DVA Productions for encouraging young talent. Back in the day, Joe Papp did the exact same thing. Investing in young talent that others felt, "not ready for primetime" and changed the course of theater history in the process. So just keep on keeping on Mr. Cooper and Ms. Keyton!

Jan Farrington writes:
Thursday, March 28 at 12:29PM

I essentially agree with Jonathan Norton's concerns, and would not for the world want to discourage Jordan E. Cooper from continuing to write--please keep it up, Mr. Cooper! There are the bones of a good play (and a very good idea) in what you've done. I am sure you will find mentors to teach you the nuts and bolts of writing a well-made play--and once you know all that, how to create great stage plays by breaking some of those rules! We were asked to review The Catch for our readers as a professional production, not a teen writer's workshop. Perhaps if the company were to present this slot each year as a "work-in-progress" show, maybe even with audience feedback after each performance, it could be reviewed on those terms.


Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
What's the Catch?
At DVA Productions, a new play by a young playwright, The Catch, needs more time to gestate.
by Jan Farrington

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie Garland Outcry Cara Mia Swimming While Drowning Cliburn Uptown Players Garland Tuna Theatre Arlington Stage West Dallas Black Dance Theatre Espresso Nutcracker Black Nativity Ballet Ensemble of Texas Nutcracker Garland Dallas Symphony Melinda Massie
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