Review by Liz Eichler of The Arsonists: A Love Poem: Know Theatre
One of the themes of Jacqueline Goldfinger’s The Arsonists playing now through October 14 at Know Theatre, is that no matter how despicable the family business, it is family first.
Lovingly directed by Tamara Winters, this is a paean to family connections, playing out in a cabin in the Florida swamp. Erin Ward as M is brilliant, charming, and funny, reeling in her audience with a look, or the twang of her beautiful voice. Jim Stark (H) is her father’s ghost, dead that night when a fire they set goes wrong, come to visit her before he moves on. He is charming and loving, and they have an amazing connection.
This hour-and-twenty minutes is filled with love, sadness, confusion, pain, and music. It is a poem, more than a play. There is a cadence to it, as it follows, “We are measured and fit for something at birth, but it takes a little time before it spins itself out.” If you don’t immediately realize the Greek mythology connection, the playwright weaves the three fates into the story–Clothos, Lachesis, Atropos—in charge of spinning, measuring, and cutting the thread of your life. It captures the largeness of life, of feeling, and how even after death you continue to sing the story of your ancestors, sometimes turning the daily pains into joy.
The Arsonists is part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. For tickets to this must-see night of theatre, go to www.knowtheatre.com or call 513-300-5669.