Nicole Murray’s new extended one act AI at the NY Summerfest is timely, relevant and starts the dialogue women have between themselves. Two women AI (Jasia Reis) and Alyssa (Kristen Pellizzi) are doing laundry in conversation with the audience. Dressed like Rosie the Riveter, a cultural icon who represened the women who worked in factories and shipyards during World War II, these two women are at war with themselves and their values. AI is life has been diminished due to her work as a mother and wife. Her entire existence is for her family, despite the fact that it is clear they all take her for granted and her husband is most likely having an affair. Alyssa wants her voice, her freedom and her name back. She wants to break free, but AI is too intrenched into societies norm.
Ms. Murray’s dialogue is compelling and definitely at the zeitgeist of where American women stand. The problem with a lot of what women are going through, is that it is so divided. For those who want the traditional role of mother and wife, they find themselves criticized for not wanting more. For those who want more, it is struggle both within themselves, society and their parents expectations. This is a dialogue that needs to be opened up and discussed and Ms. Murray does it well. I would love to see this piece extended into a full length play and really flesh out AI and Alyssa adding in her parents and husband.
Both Jasia Reis and Kristen Pellizzi do fine work here, though it takes Pellizzi time to establish her characterization. Murray also does well directing her piece.
AI: NY Summerfest at the Hudson Guild Theatre 441 West 26th Street, Sept. 30th at 8:30