12 nikolas noonan fQM8cbGY6iQ unsplashIf you want to see a play that tells a story that is both entertaining and relatable then “Ruins” is a must-see. This play is both humorous and in touch with what it feels like to experience a natural disaster. Written and directed by Montgomery Sutton, “Ruins” will be performed at the Gilbert Theater Jan. 24-Feb. 9.

What starts as a simple story of a man who visits his former friend and lover, who has been affected by a horrific natural disaster, evolves into a reflection on their relationship, their memories and what led to their eventual breakup. This is production is an in-depth examination of what we feel like as people in romantic relationships and how these relationships affect our everyday lives.

Unlike other plays performed in the Gilbert Theater, the set for “Ruins” has a look to it that is far from the glitz and glam of many typical sets. The set is so unique and life-like, it looks like a tornado blew through the theater, decimating the stage. Broken furniture is scattered everywhere. Remnants of a house have been spread all around the stage and the cast even describes where each room of the house formerly was throughout the course of the play.

The performance starts off with a scene where we meet the two main characters, Grace Garson and Adam Smith. Grace is played by Megan L. Martinez, and the character that is Adam is played by Justin Matthew Toyer.

During the opening scene, Garson and Smith meet for the first time in over a decade. They are in the literal ruins of Garson’s childhood home, reminiscing about all the memories they made in the home. Garson was not expecting to see Smith, and Smith is very nervous to see Garson after all of these years.

The tension between these two could have been felt from miles away. Martinez and Toyer do an incredible job displaying the complexity of the many feelings their characters are feeling at that moment.

The talent of Martinez and Toyer shines throughout the course of the play. Regardless of what emotion they are supposed to evoke, they show it with care and with intense passion. There was intense passion the audience could feel from the actors. It was almost as if the lines between actor and character were blurred.

As the show goes on audience learns more and more about their relationship. The two started out as high school sweethearts. They were crazy about each other. They were so crazy about each other that in college they even contemplated the idea of going to New York City together.

Later down the road, their relationship faced much adversity. They wanted different things from life, which led them down two separate paths. The actors portray their story through reflections told by the characters and flashback scenes.
The symbolism in the story was touching as well. One thing that really broke my heart  was the tree coming down. This tree was Grace and Adam’s favorite tree when they were teenagers. The tree coming down essentially symbolized the end of that time that they had together.

To experience the artistic creation that is “Ruins,” visit www.gilberttheater.com for tickets and information.

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