Dry Land | Rivendell Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Jessica Ervin, Bryce Gangel, and Charlotte Thomas

Jessica Ervin, Bryce Gangel, and Charlotte Thomas

Michael Brosilow

Dry Land

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through May 28 2016
Price: $32, seniors and students $22
Playwright Ruby Rae Spiegel adds little to the teen-girl zeitgeist of the last couple decades, at least as expressed through self-consciously edgy mass entertainment (think Harmony Korine’s Kids). Popular self-described slut Amy and unpopular geek Ester fixate on sex, alcohol, gossip, their bodies, and their likability. Each has a dark secret—Amy’s trying to pull off a DIY abortion, Esther's profoundly self-loathing—and their unlikely friendship routinely turns savage under hair-trigger emotional duress. It’s all a bit dutiful, and Spiegler’s haphazard structure diminishes the play’s overall impact. But her articulation of the girls’ friendship is masterful, as is director Hallie Gordon’s graceful yet gutsy staging for Rivendell. In the lead roles, Bryce Gangel and Jessica Ervin deliver meticulous, affecting performances that eclipse the limited material. —Justin Hayford



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