With a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dramaturgy/Dramatic Criticism, Alyssa Dyksterhouse has over 20 years of professional theater experience. She recently returned from the living in the Pacific Northwest where she wrote about arts and culture for Seattle Weekly and Seattle Gay Scene.
Kristina Valada-Viars and Cody Proctor in THE SOURCE. Photo by Rob Zalas.
Review: THE SOURCE at Route 66 Theatre Company
By Alyssa Dyksterhouse
Despite diffuse divisiveness, most Americans discover middle ground when agreeing we value our freedoms that—since the original Patriot Act—are disappearing as quickly as the glaciers in the North Pole which is why Route 66 Theatre Company’s production THE SOURCE left me unsettled.
Print journalist Vernon (Cory Proctor) and documentary filmmaker Laura (Kristina Valada-Viars) chase the story of their life after traveling across the world to meet The Source: a deep throat leaking hacked documents about the United States Government. In this psychological drama, the two sit in a hotel room for a week probing one another for information and studying motivations while questioning their country and themselves.
Gabriel McKinley’s World Premiere is a Tom Clancy novel infused with Woodward and Bernstein—we never determine the identity of The Source. Like unanswered questions about Russia, I find the intentional loose ends irksome because I crave closure. I ache for the protagonist to prevail; yet, in politics we are not assured a compressive or clear conclusion. More importantly, the captivating conflict and characters combat any chagrin.
Under the inquisitive direction of Jason Gerace, Proctor adequately annoys as the anxiety-laden Vernon while Valada-Viars induces ire as a pretentious Luddite. Both, luminously steer their characters from egregious to empathy evoking. Additionally, they hand over humorous moments, particularly when they raid the mini-bar to kill time musing that we have a 30-second long news cycle.
Jack McGaw’s set resembles a hotel room you would see advertised in a glossy magazine, Claire Margaret Chrzan’s lights add to an environment of paranoia as does Christopher Kriz’s sound design. Most notable, Mark Comiskey’s Sherlock-esque projections create an environment of espionage.
In an era of fake news and alternative facts where confirmation bias kills critical thinking, we need journalists who value actualities over ideology and party. We need to stop believing things because they align with our worldview and start asking questions. We need to be well-read and informed because democracy depends on it…and us.
Okay, sorry, I got a little sweaty on my soapbox.
After seeing THE SOURCE, I am inclined to visit a bookstore to buy every print newspaper available then when I get done reading I want to scour Netflix for all relevant documentaries.