nytheatre.com review by Julie Congress
February 26, 2010
price, by David Fierro, is the story of two troubled teens on the run. It is an interesting dramatic piece, but the script's environment and structure feel more suited to film than the stage.
Amee is trying to see her boyfriend in college on the other side of the country. Lance will help her—but only if she'll sleep with him. So they break out of their incredibly strict school for derelict youths and hole up, uninvited, in a barn belonging to an unseen, but terrifying, farmer. These high-schoolers have experienced a lot: anorexia, drug abuse, divorce, pedophilia, assault, alcoholism, anger issues, prostitution, and rape.
Scenes alternate between our protagonists in the barn and flashback vignettes. For the first half of the play, Mary Ellen Schneider plays Amee, while David Klasko alternately plays Lance and half a dozen figures from Amee's past. We go shopping with her reformed coke addict mom, meet her boyfriend the night they first hook up, and witness an uncomfortable scene between little Amee and her drunken stepfather. For each new character, the actors don a shirt that hangs on racks from either side of the stage. Once half the shirts are gone, the play's focus switches and Lance becomes our main character while Schneider plays all of the pivotal characters in his life: his mother, father, ex-girlfriend, psychiatrist, etc.
Schneider and Klasko each have some very fine moments and the structure of price creates a good vehicle for them to show their range as actors. That being said, it is a difficult task to play so many diverse characters, and sometimes the actors seem to let the shirt they have put on differentiate that character more than through vocal and physical distinctions. Kon Yi's direction is clean and simple, yet the play's heavy reliance on flashbacks, and the teen coming-of-age/horror feel of it, seem out of place on the bare stage of the Kraine—price would be far more gripping and exciting as a film.