Ask five people what the play Gloria is about and they will probably give you five different answers. That’s because each of us views the play, and life in general, through the lens of our own experiences. That was one of the many subtexts in this complex and engaging drama.
The play is set in a cubicle farm in a magazine, but could just as could just as easily be in any office anywhere in America. And as a refugee of corporate American, I saw much I could relate too. On the surface, Gloria is a story about a toxic office culture gone incredibly wrong, With a mixture of humor and serious interactions, it explores the impact that toxic environment has on the lives of the people who work there. .
The characters that we get to know are stereotypes of every office environment I have ever worked in or seen portrayed in any television program or movie. But the actors playing these roles, bring them to life in such realistic way. I loved all the performances, but was especially impressed with Kim Egan’s performance as Kendra as she delivers her rapid fire dialogue and rants in a way that is so natural.
The pay has so many layers, with twists and the turns and the surprises. And a few shocking moments which may leave you feeling uncomfortable. Much like the surprises that come at us in life, these moments are what makes this story so interesting, real and relevant.
Produced by the American Lives Theater this is an ambitious and well executed first performance for a company that hopes to engage, provoke and entertain. The performance was followed by a lively discussion of the themes presented in the play. I enjoyed the conversation and would encourage any audience member to plan on staying for this important part of the performance.