Island Girl Review – How to Say Goodbye

Luka Lyman - Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

Written and performed by Luka Lyman and directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson, ISLAND GIRL was streamed on 6/7/2020 from the Whitefire Theatre Solofest library. ISLAND GIRL is the third “Best of the Fest” streamed solo performance released to the public in the past week. Set in the Hawaiian Islands, this is a tale exploring the meaning of love between a mother and daughter – and the need for sacrifice when life calls for extreme measures.

Luka Lyman – Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

Luka has been raised in a warm, caring family which has almost replicated the perfect family sitcoms of the 1960’s – until her mother is diagnosed with breast cancer and the child Luka must face the first really stressful experience in her young life. But luck is on her side, and her mother recovers. Fast forward several years, and Luka has come to “the mainland” to pursue her dream of acting. Things are looking good, and then she receives a call to return to Hawaii. Her mother’s cancer has come back, and doctors recommend that she plan to remain in the family home for at least a year. Somewhat reluctantly, Luka complies, realizing that this is yet another test of her ability to face down the Grim Reaper.

Luka Lyman – Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

But there is a second story going on all around Luka. The old gods have returned to haunt her dreams – but also to offer spiritual support in a crisis. As Luka delves into her own heritage – all the way back to her missionary forbear in 1832 – she begins to grow and develop as a person. She also has the chance to get in touch with some very magical moments which will surprise and support her in a time of need.

Luka Lyman – Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

The ISLAND GIRL stage is almost empty, sporting only projections and a few stacking boxes. The weight of the entire tale rests on Luka’s slender shoulders, and she does a good job of tackling and conquering the task. She wears the mantles of multiple characters as she demonstrates her story with fluidity and grace. ISLAND GIRL is a poignant and creative account, and it will surely appeal to anyone who has faced the possible loss of a loved one.

ISLAND GIRL can be streamed from the Whitefire Theatre’s library. Tickets are $9.99 with a service charge of $2.60. For tickets and information, call Whitefire at 818-687-8559 or go online.

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