In Solas Nua’s ‘Maz and Bricks,’ a theatrical gem and an urgent issue

In Solas Nua’s ‘Maz and Bricks,’ a theatrical gem and an urgent issue

Some of the best writers in background arrive from Ireland. James Joyce. William Butler Yeats.

Some of the best writers in background arrive from Ireland. James Joyce. William Butler Yeats. Samuel Beckett. There are many far more. Eva O’Connor’s play Maz and Bricks has a Joycean excellent. And it tackles the controversial matter of abortion, now a vital portion of our nationwide dialogue.

Two youthful men and women wander as a result of Dublin, tumble a small bit in adore, and help every other as a result of the devastating outcomes of the gravest crises in their lives. The language is partly real looking, partly a variety of slam poetry. It all works beautifully. In addition, Choreographer Ashleigh King and Director and Co-Choreographer Rex Daugherty have specified Emily Kester (Maz) and Jonathan Feuer (Bricks) some astonishingly essential choreography, which provides to the production’s stylistic verve.

Jonathan Feuer as Bricks and Emily Kester as Maz in ‘Maz and Bricks.’ Photo by DJ Corey Images.

It is 2017. Emily Kester’s Maz and Jonathan Feuer’s Bricks fulfill on the Luas, the Dublin mild rail. She is working on her “Repeal the Eighth” sign. He is going to decide up his beloved 4-12 months-old daughter from his aggrieved ex.

The Eighth Amendment of Ireland’s Structure (1983) identified the equivalent proper to everyday living of the expecting girl and the unborn. In observe, this meant that abortion would be permitted only when the life of the expecting girl was at danger. It was signed into regulation on October 7, 1983. In 2018, it was repealed by referendum.

Emily is on her way to the demonstration affirming women’s ideal to manage their personal bodies as equal citizens. Bricks is straight away drawn to her, and has tremendous assurance in his profile and his irresistibility. Maz “only half” likes him, and is concentrated extra on her individual ideas to protest. Their chemistry on stage is fueled by wit, rage, and a deep fundamental tenderness.

In the perform, a 19-yr-old girl, Eimear Colgan, has died because she was not “well enough” or “well-off enough” to pay for an abortion. Maz is indignant about this, and numerous other issues: The ever-present statues of Irish adult males these types of as the nationalist Charles Stewart Parnell, who are likely to rise to energy. The awful fates of females such as Eimear who have been deserted by their possess culture. And her own past tragedy, which has wrecked her romantic relationship with her mom and remaining her to cope alone.

Emily Kester as Maz and Jonathan Feuer as Bricks in ‘Maz and Bricks.’ Picture by DJ Corey Pictures.

Bricks is staying away from his previous trauma by refusing to go to a memorial Mass, in spite of his mother’s urging. He is fascinated by Maz and can make quite a few tries to acquire her believe in, utilizing his pure humor and what he considers his inescapable charm. She is unwilling but on a deeper amount looks to realize that she has met an individual who will really hear to her. Emily Kester’s Maz is a excellent portrait of a hard, troubled, and really sympathetic girl. Jonathan Feuer’s Bricks is entire of tricks and laughter, and nonetheless really serious and considerate when he requirements to be. Each actors give stellar performances.

The set, which options hollow black bins coated with graffiti these kinds of as “Hands Off Our Bodies,” is spare and perfectly-suited to its multiple employs. (Scenic design and style and specialized course is by Nadir Bey). There are hanging lights (Helen Garcia-Alton) that flicker on and off, reflecting the mood of the scene. Sound style by Gordon Nimmo-Smith, a mixture of audio, and the sounds of the group, ebbs and flows hauntingly all through.

Costumes by Charlotte La Nasa (who is also assistant producer and dramaturg), a inexperienced jacket and black leggings for Maz and black jeans and a jacket for Bricks, neatly enhance our impressions of their tips and lifestyles.

Jonathan Feuer as Bricks and Emily Kester as Maz in ‘Maz and Bricks.’ Photograph by DJ Corey Images.

Maz and Bricks specials frankly with abortion, a sensitive issue for lots of, specially now (see “Solas Nua’s ‘Maz and Bricks’ and the war on abortion rights”). In the middle of a pandemic and a divided nation, it would be easy for a theater to concentrate on entertainment and prevent difficult subjects. Solas Nua has not manufactured this decision. In presenting Maz and Bricks, they glow a gentle on an situation that will possibly turn out to be vital for some People in america and lethal for other people. And they have brought us a theatrical gem.

Operating Time: 80 minutes, with no intermission.

Maz and Bricks performs as a result of June 26, 2022, offered by Solas Nua performing at Atlas Executing Arts Middle, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC. Tickets ($10–$45) are available for purchase online.

The Maz and Bricks playbill is online right here.

COVID Security: All patrons must be fully vaccinated by the day of their take a look at. Facial area masks are demanded at all times regardless of vaccination position. See the Atlas Doing Arts Center’s finish Overall health and Security policy right here.

Put up Exhibit Discussion: On June 17, Heather Booth, a progressive political strategist, will share her encounters as a founder of the Jane Collective, an underground support providing abortion care before Roe. Her put up-demonstrate dialogue will also aim on what our world will be like after Roe and what we can do about it. (For other publish-exhibit conversations, test the Solas Nua website.)

Information Warning: This generation offers with delicate subjects these types of as suicide. If you or a person you know has suicidal feelings, enable is obtainable. Get in touch with the Countrywide Suicide Avoidance Lifeline, 800-273-8255 (out there 24 several hours languages: English, Spanish).

Maz and Bricks
By Eva O’Connor
Directed by Rex Daugherty

Emily Kester and Jonathan Feuer

Resourceful Staff
Choreography – Ashleigh King
Co-Choreography – Rex Daugherty
Lights Design – Helen Garcia-Alton
Scenic Design/Technical Director – Nadir Bey
Seem Design – Gordon Nimmo-Smith
Stage Supervisor – Samantha Leahan
Assistant Phase Manager – Mary Doebel
Assistant Producer/Dramaturg/Costume Stylist – Charlotte La Nasa

Solas Nua, “new light” in Irish, is the only organization in the United States dedicated solely to up to date Irish arts. From their foundation in Washington, DC, their mission is to provide the very best new Irish inventive talent to American audiences. They are celebrated in Eire for award-profitable function that nurtures emerging talent and presents Irish artists with a supportive, heat, and persuasive forum in the United States. They are recognized in Washington, DC, and past for staying dynamic and impressive, and for earning a significant and exceptional contribution to the artistic and cultural richness of every city, inside and outside the house the Irish-American communities.

Solas Nua’s ‘Maz and Bricks’ and the war on abortion legal rights (job interview attribute by Sophia Howes)