Applying the art of rock climbing to the puzzles of life is a fitting metaphor for the modern audience. Emm, played by Julie Jesneck, is hit by several traumatic pieces of news that lead her into a spiral of sadness and a lack of self-love. Emotional, moving, and truthful, Emm moves in and out of reality as she learns to cope and eventually regains her confidence.
Playwright Lauren Feldman enjoys being a little different when it comes to writing plays, which is what led her to write Grace, or The Art of Rock Climbing. Provoking several emotions, Feldman manages to regale the struggles of being human through an activity that many of us may not be familiar with; but it helps us see the world through new eyes.
A world premiere, Grace, or The Art of Rock Climbing is set in a circular theatre also known as The Space Theatre in the Denver Center for Performing Arts. The theatre provides an intimate setting that allows the audience to bond with each character without needing to sit twenty feet away.
A heartfelt performance, Jesneck is a sharp actor that touches your mind, heart, and soul through the struggles her character faces. As she dwindles into a state of loneliness, she begins to cut ties with the people that matter most: her lover, her father, and her close friends. However, in the darkest hours there is always a silver lining. For Emm, rock climbing is what gives her hope. Without realizing, her small steps of achievement in her climbing help her overcome her struggles. But it is not all that easy.
A small cast of seven, each member has a beautiful role in helping the main character grow. Playing Emm’s father is John Hutton, one of Colorado’s most well-respected actors. His performance tugs the heart of the audience as he goes from a strong-willed father with a love for life to a man who falls ill. Then there’s the feisty Dell, played by Emily Kitchens, who brings a slight touch of comedy to the play and provides new perspectives for Emm.
Finally, if you’re wondering how a play can host an in-door climbing wall, without giving too much away, the climbing holds are on horizontal poles that are staggered from one-foot tall to what looks to be fifteen feet tall. You can’t help but feel a slight adrenaline rush as you watch the actors climb up and down the make-shift climbing wall.
Whether or not you have experienced rock climbing, Grace, or The Art of Rock Climbing can help you understand how the art can relate to overcoming life struggles.
WHEN: Friday, January 18 to Sunday, February 17
Denver Center for Performing Arts
The Space Theatre
14th St and Arapahoe St
Denver CO 80204
TICKETS: Please click here to purchase tickets.
Starting at $47.