REVIEWSTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

A Body of Water


By Lee Blessingredtwist theatre

Directed by Mary Reynard

At Redtwist Theatre, Chicago

Puzzling mystery drama explores lost identity

Lee Blessing calls his A Body of Water as puzzle play; that sure is accurate.  When a middle aged couple awaken each day and don’t know who they are, where they are, or the why of anything, the mystery is presented. The couple struggles to discover what has happened to them. Fear and disorientation consumes them. They are still confused when a young woman arrives.  She seems to know them but they don’t have a clue as to who she is.  Her name is Wren (Stella Martin) and she tells them their names: he is Moss (Brian Parry, she is Avis (Jan Ellen Graves). They are married.

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Wren informs the couple that they are in trouble as they are being charged with a serious crime – or are they? Is Wren their lawyer or their daughter or their caregiver?  This mystery drama ask more questions than it answers. Does they couple really have amnesia or are they faking? Their fear and befuddlement makes the case for severe memory loss. How and why this happened to both at the same time is cleverly plotted. In the 90 minute one-act, we wonder about the couple’s predicament.  As clues are presented, who do we believe and what caused the amnesia if, indeed, it is real? Is the pain of memory keeping them from the present or is the embracing of the little enjoyments of joy in the present an ideal state?   Could it be that, on a subconscious level, the couples doesn’t want to remember?

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Brian Parry and Jan Ellen Graves gave outstanding performances as the confused and fearful couple. This is a most engaging work that some will find incomplete and unsatisfying. I found it puzzling but profound since it offers a unique perspective on the nature of reality. See it yourself  then you decide.


Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: February 27, 2013

For more info checkout the A Body of Water page at

At Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago, IL, call 773-728-7529,, thickets $25 – $30, Thursdays thry Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 90 minutes without intermission, through April 7, 2013

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