Social Studies by the Sea: SEASCAPE at Langhorne Players

by Lesley Grigg

Carole Mancini and Joe Mattern in a scene from SEASCAPE at Langhorne Players through June 18.

Nestled between two white sand dunes, clouds gently passing by overhead, you can almost taste the sea air. It’s the perfect place to discuss life and all it encompasses with a bottle of wine and a couple of lizards. So is the story of SEASCAPE, by Edward Albee.

What starts out as a calming and peaceful reminiscing session between husband and wife, Charlie and Nancy, played by Joe Mattern and Carole Mancini, takes a turn for the dramatic when the question arises of what to do with their new found retirement freedom. Mancini’s meditative storytelling can evoke the daydreamer in you, and keep your head in the clouds with Nancy’s wanderlust, until Mattern’s precise timing and Charlie’s petulant nature brings you right back down to earth. Both actors have such a serene and soothing way of telling a story, so much so that I recommend seeing the first half of the show only if you’re feeling well rested. The first Act continues to provoke suppressed emotions in the couple until two unexpected guests show up and put things into perspective.

When hot-tempered Leslie and curious yet cautious Sarah, played by Nigel Rogers and Jen Newby, arrive on the scene, Nancy and Charlie’s empty nesting woes seem insignificant. Even though the two couples have obvious differences, we can see subtle similarities in the male and female counterparts. Plus, while one couple struggles with their past, the other faces an uncertain future, so they almost balance each other out. However, with all that these couples learn from each other about life and love, this could be the time their lives truly begin.

Rogers and Newby give their cold-blooded characters warm hearts and backstories that warrant respect. Whether standing on two legs or four, each actor portrays a complex creature who faces both triumphs and hardships, whether they know how to describe the feeling or not, but how would any one begin to explain things like love and loss?

In SEASCAPE, Edward Albee and the Langhorne Players show us that even with our differences, we will always need balance. Something to keep us wanting more, and something to make us feel sustained.

by Edward Albee
Directed by Bernard DiCasimirro
June 3-18, 2011
Langhorne Players
The Spring Garden Mill
Route 332 (Richboro Road)
Newtown, PA 18940
(215) 860-0818  

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