The Rimers of Elditch
play by Lanford Wilson
Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center
November 10, and 14-17, 2012
The Rimers of Eldritch at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center is playwright Lanford Wilson’s account of a community and a murder mystery. Eldritch is a dying town that flourished when coal was discovered and died when it was gone. With fewer than seventy people left, the play puts about a quarter of the entire town on stage. The seventeen member cast is almost as varied as the town’s folk. They have a wide variety of theatrical experience. Some come from the community, some from Ivy Tech, some from IU, and there’s even one from an area high school.
Playwright Wilson has a love for the complications story telling and language. The stories sometimes go straight forward. Sometimes they loop back on themselves in apparent confusion and sometimes parts reappears like old friends.
Like the truth of the various stories, even geography of Eldritch is up for questions. In a quartet, four outfacing farmers almost seem to speak in a sort of round. Is it rich bottom land, where flooding followed by drought is a problem. Is it high ground where flooding isn’t a problem, but drought is? The opinions and the evidence go round and round.
The Rimers of Eldritch is a fascinating pattern of small scenes neatly orchestrated by director Paul Daily. One of the characters dreams of a bright sparkling continuity of the rime of hoar frost over the whole town, but the only time the whole cast unites is for sermons that put the community on notice of its sinfulness and gospel songs that look past the present to a here after.