A little girl tells a lie. A lie so strong that there might be an ounce of truth. Lies, deceit, and gossip; those are the themes that embody Lillian Hellman's tragedy, "The Children's Hour."
This dramatic play tells the story of two women drawn into a web of lies and deceit.
Although at times there were some sound and sightline issues, the actors did a fantastic job of interacting with each another, and using the set and props realistically. Their interpretation of the intricate script was riveting.
The chemistry between Martha Dobie (Heidi Gomber) and Karen Wright (Mirrat Moloo)worked very well. Gomber was able to move between levels of emotion smoothly with incredible diction. Her characterization progressed throughout the story and her acting stayed true to character. The relationship between the two teachers was intense and built steadily as the show progressed.
Mary Tillford, portrayed by Richa Parikh, is the young girl who tells a lie so indecent that it begins to unravel lives. Parikh created a very believable and intimidating bully. Her sweet appearance makes her grandmother (Mariana Alves) oblivious to her evil ways. Alves does a superb job of interacting with Parikh. This synergy with her fellow actors brought out the best in the entire ensemble. Additionally, the love that Joseph, (Leonardo DeLima) has for Karen was apparent in his scenes with Moloo. The energy between them was commendable.
The revolving multileveled set helped the actors portray their characters in a realistic setting, in full view of the audience. They utilized the set well, giving their characters a believable sense of direction. Although at times the sound of walking on the platform units overpowered the dialogue, the set design was an essential part of the success of the production.
Hellman's theme of how gossip can play with people's lives still rings true today, demonstrating the devasting effects of one simple lie. Deerfield Beach High's production of "The Children's Hour" reminds us that like a house of cards, life is as fragile, and with one wrong move, the whole thing can come tumbling down.