How One Can Overcome Life Takes Place In THE TRINITY RIVER PLAYS by Danielle Palermo
A very long yet astounding performance made its way to the Goodman Theatre on January 23rd, 2011. “THE TRINITY PLAYS” by Regina Taylor consisted of three different previous performances including “Jar Fly”, “Rain”, and “Ghost Story”. All played a part in this play with each individual act. As you watch you can tell when the story’s time and place changes, and how these events affect the meaning of this story.
At the beginning of the first act we see Iris at her 17th birthday. She speaks to the audience in a calm tone about her life, her decisions and how great she expects things to be once she’s older. But then peer pressure comes from her cousin Jasmine, who persuades her to have her first drink. The audience sees that this will be the turning point in her life where you just have that feeling that something is bound to happen or come up… there is a huge significance to this part of the play because even during the second and third half Iris was still able to hold herself together after she knew what devastating thing happened that night of her birthday.
I would not recommend this play to children under 15, mainly because the issue of incest is addressed and there are some arresting special effects. The story also took a little time to understand: it wasn’t clear to me who was speaking with Iris at the beginning and why things got so tense when her uncle took her upstairs.
The characters that stand out the most are Iris, Jasmine and Daisy (Iris’s aunt). These three characters made this play, they show what it’s like to cope with and overcome adolescence. Iris is noteworthy because she goes through a devastating birthday and lives her life without telling anyone what really happened. That shows power deep in her soul that the world can be a crazy place but you can move on and make it through. Jasmine is an example of ignorant and stupid one human being can be, yet can still hold and do things her way to make it through her life. Daisy shows what it’s like to be there, take care of, watch after and accept the responsibilities life throws at her. She is definitely one of a kind when it comes to her role in this play. Mainly because she takes care of Iris while her mother is away and tries her best dealing with her daughter Jasmine whom is always making the wrong decisions. Iris’s mother Rose was somewhat an important character due to her ambitions towards her family. She just didn’t stand out to me as much as the previous three did because of her lack of enhance in her personality towards life.
Many thoughts were going through my head at the end of this play, I was so curious to to find out what’s going to happen, who’s going to be with who, why won’t Iris do this, why won’t Iris do that. It was very thought-provoking. The communication between each other helped the audience realize that we just have to deal with the situations life hands us. With many presumptions I had during the play I started to understand exactly what went on, though I wasn’t too fond about how they all worked things out at the end. I think there could have been more to the playwright at the end so it can let us be aware as to what actually happened at the end. I dislike the fact that they kept us guessing.
Director Ethan McSweeny did an outstanding job with staging, and sounds. The visual effects were outstanding as well. It feels as if you’re at the movies, except you get a 10-minute intermission.
The play is long. Your body might fall asleep while watching it, but your mind will be focused on the action that takes place. Perhaps the plays greatest message is that we can make it through in this world no matter what things happen to us. So I definitely recommend this to those interested in a story that is only the beginning to a live, love and learned lesson… just remember, ALWAYS tell the truth in the end.