The aging actress dreams of returning to the theater, making new friends and losing old ones. Elizabeth is unrestrainedly devoted to her only passion – the stage. In it, she finds the strength to live, feel, love and hope. Theater is in her blood. It is like a splinter that does not let you forget about yourself…
The action of this poetic and poignant performance takes place in a small run-down hotel. Next to the former (or maybe just failed) actress are two men. One is a lover to whom a girlfriend is already a burden. The other is an uncouth bellboy. With the help of the main character, he can approach the alluring and hitherto inaccessible world of theater. In the fictional world of Elizabeth, touching, naive and magnificent dreams are born and die, and the soul of a delightful dreamer and woman blossoms.
A life without theater…could leave a splinter in your heart. With profound pain and tenderness, throbbing irritation and itching anxiety, this splinter is the ‘invisible something’ that makes actors wander from theater to theater, and from play to play.
In Splinter, the main character’s love for the theater has taken on the role of a chronic infection; it’s become a debilitating creative fever. Actor Amy Beth Hart gives a precise and transparent interpretation, balancing the mind and emotions. In the role of Elizabeth Madran, it is extremely difficult to achieve. Yet everything in her aligns to the finale, in its piercing simplicity and infinite power. Breaking open the cage of everyday life, Elizabeth frantically craves the theater. The actress is past her prime in age, life, audience, and partners—yet there is still one flame that won’t go out.
Lucien (George Dougherty) appears from the corridors of an old provincial hotel to find himself next to this lonely actress. They are not so different: just like her, he dreams of theater and creativity. We meet this simple, kind, naive man to discover he is a deep person who intuitively feels human truth and justice.
The performances resonate with the symbolic depth and ambiguity of French drama of the mid-20th century. The action gradually rises from light melodrama to explore the mystery of spiritual maturation and creativity.
The introduction of Elizabeth’s young lover (K.C. Khan) brings new dynamics and aggression to the course of the play. The dreamer and the rational entrepreneur meet in an atmosphere of confrontation. This spurs the play forward, with twists and turns. The path toward a long-awaited harmony is made of this struggle, and the results are unexpected yet inevitable.
Before us are actors, each prudently and accurately leading their part. The character of Lucien is a simple-hearted, blunt, semi-educated bellhop, and the heroine Elizabeth is an aged actress, bypassed by talent and fate. Despite the striking difference in personalities, the actors seem to be reflected in each other, mutually highlighting the souls wounded by Art. Through it all, two characters remain bitten by theater—that same thorn in the heart of Elizabeth and Lucien. To feel it, you don’t need a director, an artist, or a musical arrangement—only silence, and Elizabeth’s penetrating distant voice calling forth the transformation of an elderly bellhop into young Armand, the lover of the Lady of the Camellias.
The eternal plot of this play is theater itself. Theater—love—a splinter under the skin…
What is left for us? The best choice is to love and experience the theater together. We do this from many angles: through the play and with the talented team of this theater. This is our fate, for it’s under our skin. A splinter…