Subversive Theatre’s first production of the new year is, by now, not a new story, though it’s still relevant and still piercing. “Keely and Du” tells of a pregnant woman, Keely, kidnapped by two Right-to-Life extremists in what is called an “unflinching abortion rights drama.” The battle lines between Keely and her abductors, ostensibly as cut-and-dry as their politics, takes unexpected turns through the myriad emotions wrapped up in this volatile theme.
Though Subversive’s ethos as a company is undeniably, unapologetically on the left, Jane Martin’s play pierces through mere ideological differences to tell the compelling stories of these embattled women, each carrying their own weight of this perpetual lift – lines are blurred, realities are faced. “Fear, tenderness, faith, compassion, love, hate, trust and fanaticism” are just some of the descriptors used on Subversive’s website to describe Martin’s script, which premiered in 1993 at the esteemed Humana Festival.
The production is directed by Toni Smith Wilson and stars Kelly Beuth, Kate Olena, Jack Agugliaro and Michael Starzynski. “Keely and Du” runs Jan. 14 though Feb. 6 at the Manny Fried Playhouse (255 Great Arrow Ave.). Tickets are $20 to $25. Visit subversivetheatre.org
– Ben Siegel