In 9th grade, I remember reading the classic William Shakespeare tragedy “Romeo and Juliet.” Despite the dated dialogue, this play grasped my attention pertaining to plays. In a regular book, we are given details of what takes place verses a play where it tells you what the actors are supposed to do. In a book, the author is a master storyteller explaining a tale that has occurred. A play, though, can be as if the writer is the puppet master and he is pulling the strings at what could happen to his actors.
However, there are plays that are sort of portrayed as if it was a book. One play in particular is “Our Town”. We see the highs and lows of what could happen in the small town through the eyes of the narrator. The characters capture our attention, robbing us of our hearts, and making us want great things happen. This shows that regardless of how a play is written, it can be immensely enjoyed read like books or in some cases even more so.
This past week, I had the great opportunity to read a play entitled “Day Shift” by Ed Purchla. A interesting side note about this specific play that sold me immediately is that it made to the “Official Top 10 Stage Plays Finalists” category on the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest. I couldn’t wait to dig in!
Now the play follows different events over the course of a week and a half and split up into six different scenes. We zoom in on a small medical device plant located in upstate New York. We follow our four main characters Dahila, Alex, Katerina, and Vanessa.
Dahila is in her late fifties and yet she is still full of youthful adventurous spirit despite her age. She goes the most unexpected way, directly opposite to what others may choose. In her words, she likes to “shake things up” in order to make things interesting. In others eyes, she just doesn’t like planning her moves.
Now Alex, on the other hand, is in her early sixties and is a planner. She is one of those individuals who think logically and rarely takes chances. When others tell her about their mistakes of choosing the wrong choice, she makes sure they know they made it due to “stupidity”. But, she does has some hidden talent from her younger days she keeps hidden, but we see tiny glimpses of it every now and then. Now that she is older, she is seeking a change of scenery in order to reconnect with her past.
Katarina is in her forties but still loves to have a good time and throw barbecues at her home. She’s a mother while Alex had no children and Dahlia only has her daughter. Katarina is kind of a mixture of both women. She wants her children to excel in their dreams and be happy.
Vanessa is in her early thirties and tapped into what is going on in the world, mainly the entertainment industry. She doesn’t want to be left alone in the factory job if the other women move onto other jobs and dreams.
Throughout the whole play, we see the differences amongst each generations by the reactions to certain topics such as politics, religion, and entertainment industry. We experience that the things that separate each of them are how the women were brought up. For instance, Dahlia was raised in a time where people had to hid their talents and sexuality. You could not be very open about it whereas Vanessa represents people today where you can.
I’m not going to give anymore of this fantastic piece away. It truly makes you think and the metaphors are perfect. I enjoyed the play from start to finish and I think anyone could read this and love it as much as I did.
You can find the play located here available for purchase and your enjoyment: http://yesplays.com/products/day-shift. Don’t forget to spread the word about it so others may enjoy it too! I give this play 10 out of 10 Play Charms!
Question of the week: What is your ultimate favorite play of all time that you have read? When did you read it? What made it memorable?