Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Diviners

The Diviners (September 2004) [dir. Ryan Bailey]
The Smith-Ritch Point Theatre, Ingram, Texas

Quietly Lusting for Water and Salvation

Synopsis
In a tiny Indiana town named Zion, mired in the depression, that which gives life takes it away. Buddy Layman is the town idiot, but a charming one. What's left of Buddy after his mother saved him from drowning is an innocent but boundlessly curious mind, and a compelling gift for sensing water coupled with an intense fear of it. The rest of the town meanders through the mundane chores of getting by day to day - conversations about bicycle tires take half a day, you can't eat at the cafe until you've said your prayers, and youngsters learn to dance at the otherworldly hands of those who've seen the world via US Army boot camp. And of course, they bemoan what they lack - rain for crops, enough future brides and grooms for all, and a preacher for their weekly salvation. So when the slipping preacher C.C. Showers, looking for a way out of his salvation, stumbles into town looking for an anonymous job, the locals immediately pin on him the badge of savior. What comes next turns everything upside down, as C.C. makes a connection with idiot boy Buddy in a way no one else has and finds more in his heart than family would have you believe is there. Seeking to cure his constant itch, and its reminder of the fate of Buddy's mother, C.C. rids Buddy of his hydrophobia. In this rarely-performed allegorical play, that which gives life takes it away in the same astounding final instant and leaves us pondering the worth of salvation of any stripe. This unforgettable play, directed by Ryan Bailey, features Taylor Danielson in his first lead role as Buddy Layman and Leaman Valentine as the backslider C.C. Showers, and a cast of a dozen Point veterans and newcomers as the people of Zion, Indiana. September 3-18 at the Smith-Ritch Point Theatre, Hill Country Arts Foundation, Texas Highway 39 just west of Ingram, Texas.


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