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The Road to Mecca

PENELOPE BASS
7:30 pm Wednesdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through Feb. 3., Thursday January 31 | $16-$30.
Theater! Theatre!
3430 SE Belmont St.
 
It’s a simple story, really—a snapshot of one evening in the lives of two women. But much can be revealed in a conversation fueled by trust and desperation. South African playwright Athol Fugard’s The Road to Mecca explores faith and freedom on the most personal levels, while also establishing a clear backdrop of the era's political climate. Set in 1974 in South Africa, a country still heavily under the rule of apartheid, an evening passes in the home of the elderly Miss Helen (based on Afrikaner Helen Martins and her Owl House, which is well worth a Google search). She receives a visit from her only friend Elsa Barlow, and though separated by four decades in age, both women find themselves in places of darkness and turning to the other for guidance. The stunning performances by Amanda Soden as Elsa and Eileen DeSandre as Helen are the reason to see this production, the local directorial debut of Profile Theatre’s new artistic director Adriana Baer. Both women infuse each moment with such heartrending authenticity that you might need hankies. In the face of suffocating darkness, Elsa and Helen find the strength to make choices—whether to stay or to move on—and a freedom that casts a beautiful, glittering light.

Where: Theater! Theatre!
Address: 3430 SE Belmont St.
Website: profiletheatre.org

 
 

Theater! Theatre!

3430 SE Belmont St.
Portland, OR
 
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