Currently on the stage at People’s Light is the play, A Number. This 2002 play by playwright Caryl Churchill is an interesting look at cloning and explores the potential psychological effects it has on those involved. I feel when people hear the term “cloning” many immediately jump to the conclusion that the piece is science fiction, but that is not the case with this play. This play is a look at humanity and what happens to a family once a person discovers they are a clone. The play basically looks at human nature and what makes up a person’s personality – nature or nurture. A Number is a unique play and this beautifully paced sixty minute show will keep audiences engrossed in the evolving story.
If you were walking down the street and saw someone that looks exactly like you how would you react? That is a question posed as The Number begins. A young man discovers he is one of a number of clones and confronts his father. The show begins by asking the question is a clone a full-fledged human or something other. It also addresses the question as to whether someone’s DNA dictates someone’s personality or if it is derived from their experiences and the people who raise them. The central plot of the story revolves around a father/son relationship and it delivers a riveting ride. Director, Eliza Baldi, does an excellent job as the show keeps the play evenly paced, which adds to the rich character development. This play by Caryl Churchill was written in 2002, when cloning was a hot topic and Dolly, the cloned sheep, was still alive. The play takes a look at our humanity and capacity for understanding one another when we begin to clone humans.
The show features a two person cast starring John Dossett and Nathan Darrow. Darrow is excellent in the roles of the sons. He seamlessly glides from one role to the next, and each character is unique. It is easy for the audience to see the transition between each character as Darrow has different facial expression, stance and vocalization for each character. Dossett plays Salter the father. Dossett gives a wonderful performance and in each of the scenes he displays a natural affection for his sons and this makes him more relatable. A Number is one of those plays that will leave the audience talking about the play and its themes long after the show is over.
I also need to mention the creative team for this show. Andrew Moerdyk designed the set. Marla J. Jurglanis is the Costume Designer. Amith Chandrashaker is the Lighting Designer and Robert Kaplowitzis the Sound Designer.
A Number runs at People’s Light through June 9, 2019. For more information and tickets please visit their website at www.peopleslight.org or call the box office at 610-644-3500.
Final Thought: A Number at People’s Light is a wonderfully paced play that will keep audiences engrossed as the plot unfolds. The two person cast of John Dossett and Nathan Darrow do an excellent job of keeping the plot moving as well as giving excellent performances.
Kelli Curtin is founding editor and writer for theatresensation.com. She has maintained a love of the performing arts since a very early age and she is excited to share her passion about theatre and the Arts with her readers. Kelli can be found on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram.
Photo Credit: Paola Nogueras