Mother-Daughter Actresses Rosina Reynolds and Kate Rose Reynolds Gift Audiences Powerful Histrionic Action

In Roustabouts West Coast Premiere of IRON 

A Blog View by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti

 Rosina Reynolds & Kate Rose Reynolds - photo by Daren Scott
There is nothing more powerful than two women histrionically battling it out on stage and better yet when it is a mother/daughter duo playing a mother/daughter duo! That is the case with The Roustabouts Theatre Co. Season opener and West Coast Premiere of Iron by Scottish writer Rona Munro. A well-crafted psychological drama involving a dysfunctional marriage due to alcohol and a small child in the middle.

Fay (Rosina Reynolds) has been incarcerated for 15 years charged with the murder of her husband. She has not seen her only daughter Josie. But that will change as Josie decides it is time to pay her a visit. Exposing the intricacies and bureaucracy of having a loved one behind bars, Iron also shines a light on a dysfunctional family with Josie's parents and their passionate love/hate relationship. Once Josie gets through the paperwork to see Fay, the playwright takes us through those lost 15 years while Fay is filling in the blanks her daughter has. She does not even call her "mom". Her paternal grandmother is mom. The visiting dynamic at the jail takes place every week for months and they finally develop a relationship despite all the apparent limitations. You see the longing they both have for a lost past that haunts their present. But really, is this relationship authentic? 

Richard P. Trujillo & Jada Alston Owens - photo by Daren Scott

Tony Cucuzella's realistic set design takes us inside the jail's meeting room, Fay's cell, and a side of the outside where they have Fay garden and take cigarette breaks. Even though there is a "no touching" policy, and they can only talk while being watched, both mother and daughter have become dependent on the weekly visits, something that worries the female guard (Jada Alston Owens) as she has seen Fay's manipulating ways. At the same time, Guard 1 (Richard P. Trujillo) is happy that Fay finally has visitors after so many years. As the audience is too fond of the relationship, Fay asks her daughter to sneak in pills on the next visit. Because of Guard 2's suspicions, they search Fay's cell and find the pills, putting her in isolation with no visits for three months. Fay goes on a hunger strike and as she is practically disappearing, they call Josie to get her to eat, it is then that Fay's true colors shine through, and we get a powerful histrionic exchange between Rosina and Kate Rose full of intensity in the looks, movement, and diction. Truly a moment where you can hear a pin drop due to the heavy silence in the theatre. Rosina is absolutely haunting as Fay. Streaming frustration, inner demons, yet at the same time, unconditional love. Kate Rose Reynolds is tender and bold as Josie. These characters have a set of layers that have piled up those 20 years and both actresses peal the layers grandly. Owens and Trujillo also put their weight into the drama. 

The only observation I have is that the actors use a Scottish dialect which is challenging and sometimes, they would come in and out of the accent, I felt. Truly minimal and not in the way at all the fabulous production this is. A wonderful and certainly not easy job for Director Jacole Kitchen. Iron is a very well-written piece that will touch the heart and hit the soul.

Iron is currently playing at MOXIE Theatre until June 25. For performance times and ticket prices please click HERE.

COVID-19 Policy:

For all in-person productions, all patrons are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination (vaccination card, photo of vaccination card, or digital record) before entering the theatre. For those that are not able to be vaccinated due to medical conditions, proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen or PCR test results will be accepted.

Due to the small theatre space, and for the protection of the actors and audience, masks are required to be worn in the theatre and throughout the performance.

Children under 12 are not permitted at this time.

Front - Rosina Reynolds, Back L-R Richard P. Trujillo, Jada Alston Owens & Kate Rose Reynolds - photo by Daren Scott

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