Playwright Hal Kibbey’s charming one act "Flaws" is at the Bloomington Playwrights Project in a production directed by Xanthia Celeste.
The main character, Amanda, played by Dawn Barber has been scarred by a sadistic father who took every opportunity to humiliate her. She’s managed to cope with it, but now as a young adult the wounds are festering. Amanda’s in a warmly successful committed relationship with the upbeat Kevin, played by Todd Fleck. Kevin thinks she’s fine. Amanda has a supportive friend in her exercise partner Linda, Joanne Dubach. Linda is a positive woman herself, and openly envies Amanda’s looks. Despite these affirmations, Amanda is convinced that there’s something wrong with her. What makes it worse is that she’s focused on something that can’t be changed. Amanda says that her legs are too short.
Now there have been plenty of plays, movies and short stories that get to this point in a plot. Most of them have a Prince Charming arrive or some almost magical event take place. In "Flaws" Hal Kibbey has taken a different and much more interesting path. Amanda knows what’s wrong, knows the source and sets out to creatively deal with it. Her first effort is a wrong turn and she does seeks sort of Prince Charming. She thinks that if a professional artist believes she is worth painting this will mean she is ok. Amanda does get hired to pose, but it’s a disaster. Her session is a neatly staged set of smokely projected slides as the voice of the bored artist narrates his own current emptiness of creativity. Amanda realizes that outside affirmation isn’t going to work.
"Flaws" isn’t really a mystery in fact at the beginning it seems a bit -well, educational–, but the drama does build, and I won’t give away the ending. Here are a few hints. Amanda’s boyfriend Kevin, in typical male fashion, is at first a key but then part of an open door. Hillary Hittner appears as a photographer, a truly creative artist concerned with the inner light and the dynamic energies of her subjects. It’s a special almost quirky, quite funny lively joy that rules the day.
Hal Kibbey’s "Flaws" at the Bloomington Playwrights Project plays tonight and Saturday with additional performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday the 12th, 13th and 14th. All performances are at eight.
You can listen to an interview with playwright Hal Kibbey on the Arts Interviews page .