Article by Kristen Schweizer
June 14, 2022
The excellence of IRON at The Roustabouts Theatre Co. is found in the alchemy of perfect pairings.
The phenomenal script balances suspenseful heartache with dry humor. Playwright Rona Munro pens soul-excavating dialogue yet provides moments of levity while telling the tale of Fay (Rosina Reynolds), a woman who is serving a life sentence for murdering her husband. After 15 years of never receiving a visitor, Fay’s now-grown daughter (Kate Rose Reynolds) arrives looking for answers.
The story provides powerhouse roles for two dynamic women. Rosina and Kate Rose Reynolds are mother and daughter in real life; their physical similarities create a potent mirror effect across the prison visitor’s table. The truth found in their matching mannerisms and eye contact (or lack thereof) elevates the tension, delivering a masterclass in listening and timing. Rosina Reynolds remains one of San Diego’s finest dramatic actresses and our city is fortunate that Yale University alumnus Kate Rose Reynolds made this town her home again. Their electric storytelling kept me leaning forward in my seat, delightfully on edge, through the entire tale.
Supporting actors Jada Alston Owens and Richard Trujillo, who play Guard #1 and Guard #2, are wholly present. The two prison guards spend much of the production looking out toward the audience – but see a visitor’s room full of potential danger. Their unspoken reactions – color rising in Trujillo’s cheeks or a flicker across Alston Owens’ resting face – keep the stark room ill at ease.
The X-factor ingredient: Director Jacole Kitchen. Her measured choices – such as jarring transitions to snap the audience from maternal memories to Fay’s reality as an inmate – expertly mix the story’s heart and mettle.
The Roustabouts Theatre Co’s IRON opened on June 10 and runs through June 25 at Moxie Theatre (6663 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego CA 92115). Tickets range from $30-$45.
Learn more at theroustabouts.org.