Bright Half Life

The New York Post was absolutely right when it stated that Tanya Barfield’s new play, Bright Half Life, “is the rare play you actually wish went on longer…” The show, produced by Women’s Project Theater, is a stunning piece of work and in the capable hands of its two stellar leads, Rebecca Henderson and Rachael Holmes, explodes on stage with a staggering number of scenes, captured moments and rapid fire emotional shifts. It leaves your mind spinning.

One of my favorite directors, Leigh Silverman, helms the production and provided an economy of direction while creating an entire world, much of which must be imagined by the audience as there is very little on set and no props. The play is simply exciting to watch with all the twists and turns and flashing ahead and back in time.

What gave me pause to think about as I left the theatre, however, wasn’t so much the play but the structure and timeframe. I wondered about the playwright’s choice for brevity and the possible consideration of our current cultural attention span. I don’t know if there was an intention behind it, but I found it interesting that the play was a mere 65 minutes while covering the enormity of a complete relationship and marriage. With some scenes lasting mere seconds, it made me wonder if the playwright felt that the subject matter should be covered quickly as an audience will only be absorbed for so long.

If my experience was indicative of the larger audience and the New York Post, we could have easily watched this play unfold over a two hour timeframe with an intermission. It was too fantastic and the pleasure over too quickly.

See Bright Half Life before it closes on March 22nd.