Arts & Culture » Stage

Campfire Theatre Festival 2018: 'Cold Spring' Punches Hard at Close Range

by

There's a lot of white wine in Victor Lesniewski's Cold Spring, which was read on stage Sept. 8 at Campfire Theatre Festival. Laurie (Nichole Stull) drinks most of it. Her husband of 23 years, Ethan (Noah Moody), copes by waiting for the world to come to him.

Their son, Jesse, may have seen the coach of his high school baseball team, Neil, sexually abuse Jesse's best friend and teammate, Tony. Ethan and Laurie are pressed from all sides when Tony's mother, Camilla (Leta Harris Neustaedter), and Neil's wife, Beth (Jen Stockwell), both ask them to convince Jesse to come forward with his story.

The stakes get higher as Jesse starts to show signs of trauma, Ethan takes solace in Camilla, and Laurie's love of white wine becomes dependency. The road that proceeds from an accusation of child sexual abuse is financially and emotionally draining, and soon, Ethan and Laurie's marriage starts to run low on boxed white wine.

Cold Spring hits hardest at close range. Ethan and Laurie are vivid and flawed characters, and Beth and Camilla's Scylla and Charybdis act churns the waters without making the action hard to follow. Glaringly absent from the stage are Coach Neil and his alleged victims. Instead, the play dwells on the fact of the abuse and the parents who have to make sense of it.

Campfire Theatre Festival continues Sept. 9 with workshops, a Spark reading of In Common by Quinn D. Eli, a staged reading of Little Perfect You by Caitlin Turnage and a Story Story Night slam performance.