I attended the Shattered Globe Theatre’s Chicago premiere of Rachel Bond’s FIVE MILE LAKE on January 18, 2018. From what I gathered beforehand, it was a drama about adults navigating choices and consequences. Sure enough, “You’ll always find your way home.”- a quote that always resonated with me, hit close to home with this play.
Playwright Rachel Bonds writes that she wrote the play because “ I was thinking a lot about the place I’m from and about the constant push-pull I feel about it…I was interested in that conflict in me, and because I was interested in how we look for and find home when we’ve lost our way.”
The play takes place in a small town in Pennsylvania by a lake during winter. The setting of the lake itself is important to the situations, choices, and actions of these young people. Being home,being by the lake seems to bring out the conflicts within oneself.
It starts with Jamie (Steve Peebles) and Mary (Daniela Colucci) who work at the coffee shop in the small town where they stayed. Later we become acquainted with Rufus (Joseph Wiens)– Jaime’s brother who left the small town for the city and his British girlfriend Peta (Alia Peck) and Mary’s brother Danny (Drew Schad)– an army veteran with PTSD struggling to find a job. Jamie is seemingly content staying in the small town while Mary still has hopes and dreams about leaving and have a life of her own once her brother finds his footing. Rufus has bought Peta home to work on “stuff” in their relationship while inadvertently also working out “stuff” with his brother and family.
The actors were very talented. This drama is intense and emotional. It was easy to relate to any of the situations the characters were presented with; love, family tension and rivalry, and self-reflection. These are situations that bring out the best and worst in ourselves and those we love. It is the part of everyday life that as much as we do not want to- we have to face eventually. I have found myself having conversations with friends, family and others about the same topics without ever truly having a clear answer. And just as in real life, these characters-Jamie, Mary, Rufus, Peta and Danny don’t know what will happen next.
FIVE MILE LAKE shows that as people we all face obstacles without always being certain of the outcome. How our “right” or “wrong” choices do not always turn out the way we think or hope and don’t always meet our expectations. Our experiences sometimes have outcomes that are not expected, making us more similar than different to those around us. It was very well acted and is recommended.
FIVE MILE LAKE written by Rachel Bond and directed by Cody Estle runs from January 11-February 24, 2018 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, Chicago.. For more information visit theaterwit website. For more information on Shattered Globe Theatre visit shatteredglobe website.
Photos by Evan Hanover