Chicago Theatre Review
The Amish Project at American Theatre Co.
By Devlyn Camp
Sadieh Rifai leads the one-woman show The Amish Project as seven different characters.
She enters in a side door, the outside light streaming ac
ross the blackened stage. She slides her apron on, ties her bonnet, and sets to work on the floor with a large piece of chalk. She’s a little girl drawing and explain her friends and family, the soon-to-be-traumatized victims of a non-fictional schoolhouse shooting from which the play is based. Her chalk childhood is juxtaposed against other characters’ adult issues.
Rifai changes characters so quickly and fluidly with assistance only from beautiful lighting changes. Her monologues are powerful and touching, even rather funny at parts. Various perspectives on the shooting that killed five girls open problems to Amish families that seem to wonder if secluding themselves could ever actually help avoid problems. The characters battle each other over their opinions of how to feel about the man that followed his urges, but also murdered the Amish girls.
Creepy and twisted, yet somehow spiritual, American Theatre Company’s production gets intellectual gears turning.
THE AMISH PROJECT
American Theatre Company
Now through October 23rd
Tickets $35, available at www.atcweb.org
Contact critic at email@example.com