“Ballard House Duet” presented by Washington Ensemble Theatre

Put together an award winning playwright and two talented Seattle actresses, charge them with creating a play together, and expect something good. “Ballard House Duet” is the first of such ventures by Washington Ensemble Theatre, and though this play needs work, it has enough promise to encourage the theatre to try again to create custom made plays by teams of actors and writers.

This script would benefit from a keener focus and more than a little judicious cutting. It is overstuffed with plot twists. Another problem concerns the many flashbacks that are not clearly differentiated from the present action.

The play does, however, superbly capture the angst and differences that tarnish so many family relationships. Here two sisters come together to help clean out their hoarder aunt’s junk-filled home. The blonde, extroverted sister is a TV personality. The dark-haired adopted sister seeks comfort in religion not fame and fortune. She’s the introvert.

Their dialogue reveals the jealousies, petty slights, remembered animosities that date back to childhood. They snipe at each other, yet, as sisters, they share so much. Like the junk in the house that must be dealt with, they have to decide what of the past to keep and what to throw away.

Hana Lass as Holly the struggling adopted sister and Rebecca Olson as blonde, beautiful Heidi are excellent foils for one another (good direction by Erin Kraft). It’s worth the price of admission just to see these women face off.

Through Dec. 17 at 7:30 P.M., at The Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave. E., tickets at the door or in advance at www.washingtonensemble.org.

Leave a Reply