New Year, New Play From LakehouseRanchDotPNG

With only 2 weeks into 2024, LakehouseRanchDotPng kicks off the new year with an insightful new play; PUSH. by Mackenzie Raine Kirkman. Directed by Artistic Director Brandon Urrutia, this new play takes on the age-old issue of divorce – the failing of a relationship and what it means for each person. 

Set in what feels like a cold and dystopian future, a mediator (Pedro Urquia) interviews a couple in order to decide whether or not the divorce they are seeking can be approved. In the world of this play a divorce must be approved, otherwise it cannot happen no matter the circumstance. As they are being interviewed there is a button device sitting between them that can read whether or not they are lying, and once it does, they can press it to force the other to tell the truth. This might seem like an ideal situation when wanting complete honest but, well sometimes the truth is better left unsaid. 

Kirkman crafts this simple yet complex story with smart, quick, and authentic dialogue. To the point where it feels like you aren’t listening to written words but in fact eavesdropping on a conversation that wasn’t meant for anyone outside this private room. They effortlessly overlap conversation that is sometimes hard for even the actors to fully comprehend because of how specific and minutely detailed it all is. 

With a cast of three, Urrutia is challenged to keep the audience invested from beginning to end – but instead of leaning into keeping the characters moving, they opt for letting the text work for itself. A black and white set with two chairs and a table as the audience is thrusted into the depths of a failing marriage – and how these people navigate through it.

Urquia takes on the role of a mediator with a calming almost infuriating ease. The voice, the look, and even the demeanor align with those people you sometimes want to hit for being too calm when you feel like your world is falling apart. While asking questions from a script is their job, there are moments when even the unscripted moments come off as scripted, it never detracts from his role as mediator.

Lucy Marie Lopez grabs hold of the language as ‘Mom’, and makes it her own. As a pregnant mother of two, the character is hoping to pass this evaluation so that they can both move on with their lives. She feels ignored, pushed aside, and can no longer stand on the outside looking in. Lopez brings a tender aspect to this play fraught with yelling and personal attacks – while her easy access to vulnerability comes across as a welcome gift. She leads the play, letting us know that people are made up of multitudes. 

Michael Fernandez, an FIU alumni, gives what could be considered a powerful yet a little unbalanced performance as ‘Dad’. His performance shines in the tender moments between the couple, giving a glimpse into the love they have for one another. 

With this play being what seems to be their most grounded work, the elements that truly set the scene are the simple ones like the consistent ticking of the clock, keeping us on our toes with every passing second. 

Despite the tightly written dialogue, this play seems to shine more as a concept than as a finished well rounded product. Kirkman and Urrutia have given a foundation for much more as the potential for this play to do and say more than the same thing is what makes it an exciting piece of theatre. 

LakehouseRanchDotPng has always tested the waters with absurd work, with pieces that say something beyond the expected, and while this play might not reach those same heights, it still hits on something close to home for many people. 

As one of the  – if not the most – affordable theater companies in South Florida, each show is always worth a watch for one reason or another, even if the subject matter or presentation might not be for everyone. 

Don’t miss out on their closing weekend, and get your tickets today by clicking here.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *