“Dirt Sticks” is a brand new story by local playwright Kira Obolensky that plays with the future and past, hopes and regrets.
Critics are calling the latest production by Ten Thousand Things dark, fast-paced and fun.
At turns larger-than-life and familiar, Kira Obolensky’s Dirt Sticks digs into how the past can tie you down but second chances can free the soul… For all the talk of death and ghosts and lost chances, Dirt Sticks has a strong sense of humor that is brought out by the company and director Michelle Hensley. This is a fast-paced adventure that asks a lot of questions and has the good sense to let the story itself answer them.
Obolensky’s play laces the lyrical with the broadly comic as it explores the concept that, as one character puts it, “the dead don’t rest with an untold story.” The subject matter is dark at times, but under Michelle Hensley’s able direction and with the help of a strong ensemble, the treatment is not. These characters may be facing lost chances, troubling mysteries and uncertain fates, but they are still quick with the quips and ready with the sight gags.
…Kira Obolensky’s “Dirt Sticks” feels a lot like the kind of itinerant performances that visited villages and urban festivals across Europe for centuries, but with a an ample dollop of southern gothic to it, as if William Faulkner were adapting the Brothers Grimm. It bears the tone of a folk tale or fable (and borrows from some of them) but has plenty of contemporary resonance. And Ten Thousand Things makes it an involving evening, as a group of very interesting characters offers lessons about the power of memory to imprison or liberate.
“Dirt Sticks” runs through June 1 at Open Book in Minneapolis. Have you seen it? What’s your review?