port of harlem magazine
Mosaic Theater
Play Review: Private
April 7 – April 20, 2022

in-his-hands at mosiac theater

“Private” does not end with a stampede of feel-good music nor does the audience rush to their feet at the play’s end to stomp and shout encore. Instead, when the performance ended, Yesenia Inglesias called it an “introspective look into relationships and marriage.” After reading the preview and also seeing the play, Donavan Anderson chimed in, “It was deeper than I thought it would be.”

The play centers on the life of Corbin (Eric Berryman) and Georgia (Temidayo Amay). He gets a job with a high-tech firm that provides him privacy insurance - - which broadly addresses the many different and evolving exposures of privacy, technology security, and web-media services liability.” The insurance generally deters employees from sharing or stealing company secrets. The catch is that his new employer will control the insurance and have round-the-clock access to all aspects of their lives.

Corbin is open to the privacy insurance condition to his employment for many reasons including the doubling of his salary. She is against it as she recalls a student who broke into his teacher’s electronic system and made the recording of her having an organism his telephone ring tone.

“What could happen?” Corbin eventually asks Georgia, if his company had access to all their business. “Knowing that we are being monitored, we are afraid the truth may come out,” reasoned Anderson after being intrigued by the futuristic play. There was “wonderful chemistry between the two leads,” added Inglesias.

The leads could have been played by performers from any demographic group, which makes the world premiere production more appealing during these hyper tribalistic times. Playwright Mona Pirnot deserves an ovation just for being imaginative and Luciana Stecconi for creating a bright yellowish-gold, very simple, but workable scenic design. “The set was beautiful,” concurred Inglesias.  However, I not sure if costume designer Danielle Preston had TVs Urkel (“Family Matters,” circa 1990) in mind when she dressed Corbin in high-waisted pants that made it seem like he had no waistline - - and not let character Georgia overrule her on how Corbin dresses.

Though it seems like I was in the minority to think the thought-provoking 70-minute play had too much dialogue, the play is definitely a cutting-edge, contemporary piece. Even the female lead, Temidayo Amay, describes they/them as a “trans, non-binary writer, actor, producer, and queer activist.”

Video on Demand: Available now - Sun, Apr 17, 2022
In Person: now to Sun, Apr 17, 2022

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