By Sarah DeLappe
Directed by Marianne DiQuattro
Bert W. Martin Tennis Complex at Rollins College
These gals could be from anywhere town, USA. They are anonymized to the point of lacking names, even among themselves. But each stands out ins some way. Miss #00 (Ruth Gershberger) compulsively pukes under presure. #46 (Molly von Eschenbach) lives in a yurt with her hippie mom and takes three bus connections to practice. #2 (Jascinda Farrel suffers from a persistant nose bleed, and #14 (Sydney Pigmon) just got off the bus from Armenia. But their common thread uniting them is teamwork and a chance for a college scholarship, and they are just good enough to contend. What could possibly go wrong? That’s the tragedy you’ll need to discover yourself.
As alternate theater venues go, this tennis stadium on the Rollins campus is halfway decent. We sit on benches with our back to the sun, and everyone is miked so we can hear them clearly. Other students and student athletes wander by, uninterested in the drama on court. The weather is a pleasant breeze, and no one needs a costume change. Rollins picked the perfect day to stage this show.
Are we invested in these young athletes? By all means. Writer DeLappe incises them each in a clear and distinct measures. Themes of acceptance and personal sacrifice and “In Groups” / “Out Groups” define the high school experience. Here, eventually everyone is “In”, and the Out Group is mostly the audience. What we take home is a measure of their accomplishment, and the need to have back up plans in place for all contingencies. It might be a torn hamstring or a death in the family, but not everyone will make it to the top in this tragedy of living with your heart exposed.