Scripps Ranch Theatre's "Chapatti" Takes Audiences Through

A Journey of Self-Discovery and Connection 

A Blog View by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti

Grace Delaney and Robert May. Photo Ken Jacques
As I mentioned in another blog view, San Diego Theatre is starting the year strong and with the one-acts! I enjoy all running times, but one acts are just charming. Scripps Ranch Theatre opens the year with Irish playwright Christian O'Reilly's "Chapatti". A tender play about two older and lonely people who meet thanks to their love of pets. Betty (Grace Delaney) has 19 cats, and one gets hit. Dan (Robert May) goes around the neighborhood asking who the cat belongs to and comes across Betty. Since they are already on the subject of animals, Dan asks Betty if she would be interested in keeping his dog "Chappati" as he is moving away. Betty who is curious, asks where Dan is moving to and gets a vague answer which at the same time, discloses to the audience what Dan's true plans are. 

Directed by Christopher Williams, Grace Delaney, and Robert May deliver warm and very charming performances as Betty and Dan while the play delves into the lives of these two lonely individuals who find solace and a unique connection. One of the standout features of the production is the innovative set design by Tony Cucuzzella. The stage is cleverly divided into two distinct spaces, representing Dan and Betty's separate homes. This visual separation effectively underscores the characters' isolation while also emphasizing the eventual merging of their worlds as their relationship unfolds. Marcene Drysdale's costume design further enriches the storytelling by subtly reflecting the characters' inner complexities. The contrast between their everyday attire and their more polished, 'dressed to impress' looks mirrors the layers of their personalities and the different facets they reveal to the world.

The lighting design by Deanna Trethewey and the sound design by Ted Leib, play key roles in setting the mood as well as enhancing the emotional resonance of the play. The lighting beautifully accentuates key moments, like when the characters are talking to themselves or, when they are breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience to fill pieces from the story, while the sound design adds depth and texture, immersing the audience in Dan and Betty's journey of self-discovery and connection.

Grace Delaney and Robert May. Photo Ken Jacques

A curious fact is that this play premiered in 2014 as well as "Outside Mullingar" also set in Ireland and currently playing at LAMBS.

"Chapatti" is a heartfelt production that takes a dive into themes of loneliness, companionship, and the transformative power of human connection. Showing how as we grow older, it becomes more isolating and, very importantly, also showing that as an older adult, or senior, there are still needs for relationships and intimacy. Trigger warning: Chapatti also shows how suicidal tendencies are all across the age range. 

It made me think not only of my grandmother and my older relatives, it also made me think of ME! my near future, how I want it to look and feel, and what I need to do now for that to start shaping up. Maybe I am oversharing but that is the power and the beauty of theatre.

Currently playing until February 25th. For dates and showtimes please click here

No comments:

Post a Comment