The Artistic Challenge of “Reborning”
By Skip Sheffield
“Reborning” does not mean born again. The crux of Zayd Dohrn’s challenging, fascinating, disturbing psychological play is more about the power of creation, both human and artistic. “Reborning” continues through Feb. 14 at Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach.
Kelly (Elizabeth Price) is a sculptor who has found she can make more money creating astoundingly natural-looking dolls.
Her boyfriend Daizy (Nicholas Wilder) is also a sculptor. He too has found a practical use for his talents. He creates male body parts for a sex toy company.
Kelly is so good at her art; she is approached by Emily (Deborah Kondelik), a wealthy older woman who wants her to create a doll in the image of her late daughter, who died at age 2.
Kelly dutifully creates the doll, which is just about perfect, but not quite in the eyes of perfectionist Emily. After a debate about how to recreate an image most convincingly (working from still photo or moving picture), Kelly agrees to try to further perfect the doll. She tells Emily to come back in a week.
Meanwhile Daizy, a laid-back, mild-mannered fellow, is caught in the crossfire. He just wants to have sex with Kelly, as they have not in a long time. Kelly has become so obsessive he has stopped eating and sleeping.
“Reborning” starts out as a comedy under Keith Garrison’s direction. Daizy makes dildoes, ha-ha. Emily is shocked, oops. Kelley is embarrassed. As the play progresses it gets darker and darker. Kelly was horribly abused and abandoned as an infant. She has ample scars as proof, including no fingerprints, but her psychic wounds are even deeper.
Emily is wounded too, and needy. The play simmers nicely into a blazing finale, all in 1 hour, 20 minutes, no intermission. “Reborning” is not for children or the faint of heart. I found it bracing and challenging in its ultimate questions, and beautifully acted all around.
Tickets are $30 general admission, $40 reserved seat and $45 premium. Call 561-450-6357 or go to www.artsgarage.org.