Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Totally Engrossed in "Teresa's Ecstasy"

What draws us to explore one path over another?

Begonya Plaza as Carlotta, Shawn Elliott as Andres, Linda Larkin as Becky in “Teresa’s Ecstasy.” Photo © Carol Rosegg

In "Teresa's Ecstasy," written by Begonya Plaza at the Cherry Lane Theatre through April 1st, Carlotta's (Begonya Plaza) research into St Teresa of Avila turns into a spiritual quest. As is often the case with this kind of journey, she is lead to an unexpected self-discovery.

Carlotta is an author, nominally married to a Spanish artist, Andres, (Shawn Elliott). She is in Spain to explore the history of St Teresa for an article she is preparing for Becky's (Linda Larkin) magazine, Beyond Reason. The Saint is famous for her writings about her rapturous relationship to Jesus. "Oh right," Andres says. "The lusty saint."

En route to Avila, Carlotta stops in Barcelona to get "Andy" to sign the divorce papers he has steadfastly ignored.

Shawn Elliott as Andres with Begonya Plaza as Carlotta in “Teresa’s Ecstasy.” Photo © Carol Rosegg

The skeptical Andres denounces religion and religious fervor. Shawn Elliott's assured portrayal of the dogmatic and charming Andres is an excellent foil for Begonya Plaza's open-minded and inquisitive Carlotta. The tenderness between them is unaffected. Becky as Linda Larkin plays her is contemptuous and brash, challenging Andres's machismo.

Linda Larkin as Becky withBegonya Plaza as Carlotta and Shawn Elliott as Andres “Teresa’s Ecstasy.” Photo © Carol Rosegg

Will Pomerantz (The Blue Flower, The Shape of Things) smooothly directs the outstanding cast in the world premiere of this truly first-rate drama. The sets by Adrian W.Jones are homey and expansive.

Begonya Plaza as Carlotta and Shawn Elliott as Andres in “Teresa’s Ecstasy.” Photo © Carol Rosegg

"Teresa's Ecstasy" is a captivating story of love and adventure. Click here for more information on the play.

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