The production of The Trinity River Plays, written by Regina Taylor, at the Goodman this year was very interesting. Watching the play on a Sunday, January 30th, at 2p.m this play is definitely something worth writing about. This play is about a southern family in Texas dealing with divorce, drugs, and family issues. A young girl named Iris, played by Karen Aldridge, is searching for her voice. As her teacher told her since she was seventeen years old and still to the age of thirty-four. Iris started out as a girl who always had her nose in a book and dreamed of making it big in New York as a writer. She feels compelled to compare herself to her cousin, whom she really wishes to be seen like, played by Christiana Clark. Although her cousin was actually not on the best path while doing drugs, shop lifting, and freely going along with strangers she met in the backyard. After succeeding in her dreams of New York, she comes back to the small town in Texas to tell her mother, played by Penny Johnson Jerald, life changing news. The family settles in and Iris’s mother grows old. Iris is there to take care of her and tries to understand what her mother means when she says that “…you start a garden with a dream.”
While watching the play myself, I was lost when Iris came back as a thirty-four year old woman. This play was very serious and at some points very humorous, just like real life is. The scene was set in a home that appeared to be in the 70’s to 90’s. I was sometimes confused as to which character was which. Throughout the play, most of the time the lights went out I was wondering whether the play was over or not. I was also wondering when was it proper to laugh.
Overall I recommend this play to many people because it is really relatable. Many families have problems, habits, conflicts and at some point death. I once felt like Iris when I wished to be like my best friend. She was beautiful and she caught the attention of someone I really liked. Of course, she did not run off behind the school with him! Like me, Iris can relate to many girls out there.