Review On Buried Child

Leigh Kennicott

Registered Critic

It’s a comfort to see A Noise Within’s resident artists bring such clarity to Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, his most quintessentially absurdist play. The playwright plops young Vince (Zach Kenny) and his girlfriend, Shelly (Angela Gulner), into the midst of his tight-knit and quite eccentric farming family, headed by patriarch Dodge (Geoff Elliott) and his wife, Hallie (Deborah Strang). A great deal is remarked about the fact that corn has not been planted out back since 1935 (It’s now the 70s). As behaviors get stranger, and Vince settles into his family’s rhythms, Shelly finds her inner housewife.
In this second time around, Director Julia Rodriguez Elliott, teases the humor out of the grotesque, ever mindful to highlight the play’s sense of nostalgia. The actors’ created eccentricities seem so organic, we almost feel we’ve stumbled into a time warp.

Leigh Kennicott has an extensive background in theatre, film and television and a Ph.D. degree in Theatre, awarded in 2002. A writer, director and actor, Leigh Kennicott began theatrical reviewing at Backstage, followed by Pasadena Weekly and Stage Happenings blog.
As a director in Los Angeles, she directed a neo-realist "Romeo and Juliet" at the Secret Rose Theatre; a new play,“Charlotte Second Chance,” at DramaGarage; and “How I Learned to Drive,” “Nickel and Dimed” and “Top Girls” all at College of the Canyons.
Presently, she teaches theatre topics at California State University, Northridge.