Vanguard Repertory Company has kicked off La Cañada Flintridge Shakespeare Festival’s summer season with “Tragic Women” and “After the Autumn,” a duet of powerfully moving, world-premiere pieces.
Inspired by some of the Bard’s best known tragedies, these one-acts are excellently paired given their unconventional styles and poignant performances.
In “Tragic Women,” a trio of Shakespeare’s female characters sentenced to Purgatory must face the effects of their individual demons.
Chelsea Taylor, the newly arrived Juliet, delivers a stirring portrayal as she searches for her Romeo.
Eliza Kiss as Hamlet’s Ophelia and Kirsten A. Snyder as Othello’s Desdemona are obviously longtime residents of this barren place.
Kiss perfectly relays Ophelia’s mental instability as she suffers a series of emotionally charged breakdowns.
Meanwhile, Snyder’s Desdemona is the rational balance, supporting her companions while attempting to decipher the meaning behind their existence in this eternal solitude.
Their movements, meticulously choreographed down to the slightest detail by Elizabeth Ross, are incredibly effective as they utilize nothing more than three straight back chairs and their signature hand props.