by Jason Booker
Grey Ground is a unique show that goes in a few directions. It tells the story of Molly, a teenaged girl who assaults a fellow student at her unnamed high school. As the play begins, it is uncertain whether this is the result of Molly being bullied or if she is the bully; this question of who is responsible, and who authenticates that, are themes of the show. Through a series of soul-bearing live webcam recordings that serve as diary entries, Molly (charmingly played by Caitie Graham) tells her side of the story. Written by Lindsay Finnie, Molly might be one of the best written young women I have seen in a while, excellently capturing that familiar adolescent petulance, courage and low self-esteem. Molly fearlessly opens herself to the audience, as she evades directly responding to freelance journalist, Joseph (Ryan Bainbridge), who attempts to write her side of the story. These two compelling characters own the stage, however their stories are told as parallels instead of focusing on the more intriguing one: Molly’s. Unfortunately there is a subplot involving Joseph’s relationship with Tori that often rings false and predictable (gardening metaphors are a bit obvious) and the physical transitions to get between Molly’s and Joseph’s threads of the yarn are often too slow. By contrast, earlier in the show, there is some fascinating work by director Adam Pellerine and the chorus to physicalize the bullying and angst that Molly deals with, as the choreography tosses her about, mirroring Molly and her friend Katie (Julie Nolke) and their victimized plights. With more focus on Katie and the crisp interview scenes with Joseph, this 75-minute play would have had more muscle, especially with additional support from these beautiful yet painful moments of movement expressing the pain and frustration of bullying.