"Playwright Randall Colburn avoids both easy laughs
and easier moralizing, offering instead an intimate, insightful,
achingly sad portrait of two people desperate to regain their
innocence... Nathan Robbel's talented cast act their parts with a
stillness and understatement worthy of a cinematic closeup, giving the
play its quietly shattering impact."
Zac Thompson, The Chicago Reader
"It's really all about the
people-- about the acting. And the acting is quite good... Regardless
of how you feel about religion, sexuality, adolescence, or
what-have-you, the bottom line is that Hesperia is a simple but powerful production for those of us who are not afraid to be a little uncomfortable for 80 minutes."
Kelly Reaves, Gapers Block
"The play is full of revelations--Colburn has a razor-sharp eye for the details of human behavior, and it's a joy to see moment after moment that's funny, moving, and painfully recognizable. (The production certainly helps in this respect.) It's rare for a play to have so many uncomfortably honest moments, and something special for this reason alone."
Zev Valancy, On Chicago Theatre
"Colburn's is a mature drama asking serious questions, refusing to
take sides or traffic in easy answers, and under Nathan Robbel's
direction, the cast's wholesale commitment to their material is enough
to overcome any impediments generated by the production's physical
Mary Shen Barnidge, Windy City Times
Claudia remembers, as a child, Ian sneaking into her bedroom late at night and holding her as she cried. Or was it the other way around? Regardless, that was a long time ago - before they ran off to L.A., before the drugs, and before they found themselves knee-deep in the adult film industry. The money and drugs claimed Ian, but Claudia got out, knowing nobody would take her seriously when she ran off to Hesperia, a small Midwestern hamlet just miles from where she grew up. She hoped to redefine herself on her own terms - to rediscover the little girl that chased trains on her bicycle. Little did she realize, she would also find God, and a bright-eyed man who could love her like Ian once did so long ago. But now, just weeks before her wedding, Ian has shown up at her door with his tail between his legs, forcing her to ask the question: "Can he be saved too?" Redemption, Claudia learns, never comes without a sacrifice.
Hesperia marked the second of three Colburn pieces that the RBP presented in 2010, all exploring themes of identity, sexuality, and redemption.
The Right Brain Project's 2010 world premiere production of Randall Colburn's Hesperia opened at the RBP Rorschach on July 15 and ran through August 14 with the following creative team:
Director: Nathan Robbel
Stage Manager: Emma Peterson
Tech Director: Anthony Ingram
Music Director/Composer: Trevor Patrick Watkin
Dramaturg: Jamie Bragg
Publicity Card Design: Tom McGrath
Featuring: Katy Albert, Natalie DiCristofano, Billy Fenderson, Nick Freed, and Danny Mulae
Hesperia Trailer by Ken Ochalek