THE Theatre Company presents 315, written by JP Sisneros and directed by Sarah Frances Hope Williams. Since the erection of the George Washington Bridge in 1931, no less than 314 people have used the site to leap to their deaths. As a group of young college students play out the desperate dramas of their lives onstage, a haunting question lingers, “Which of them will be the 315th?”
The plot centers around two friendships: the social and upbeat Ashley (Kelly Ohanian) and Phil (Philip Da Costa), who struggles with depression and anxiety, and the ambitious artist Colby (Moly Janiga) and her friend Sam (Allie O’Donnell), who is struggling with her identity. These friendships are put to the ultimate test as resentment, fear, rejection, and desperation whirl the characters into explosive arguments. These relationships, as well as the individuals in them, alter as life continues to throw challenges their way. One of these young students finally succumbs to their misery…and it’s not who you think.
There is a lot of potential in this endeavor – the acting is solid, the ensemble works well together, and I love the overall idea that is being presented…but the material itself needs quite a bit of work. I often felt that the dialogue wandered into unrealistic territory with lofty (and, I’ll say it, cheesy) diction that misrepresents the natural flow of conversation. The overall tone also suffers a bit– quite literally, as the suffering characters throw heaps and heaps of their anguish onto the audience with little-to-no humorous breaks to lighten the mood. This show is not merely a drama– it is a drama.
While I find that 315 is a worthy attempt, I also believe that it needs quite a bit of polishing. And I look forward to seeing it in its next inception.