With the holiday season arriving, the PlayMakers Repertory Company is putting on a production of "Dot," a dark Christmas comedy written by award-winning playwright Colman Domingo.
The play starts two days before Christmas and follows Dotty, a mother who is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and her three children — Shelly, Donnie and Averie, who are all figuring out how to deal with it in their own way.
The play's director, Nicole Watson, explains that even though holidays are fun and meant for a good time, it’s also one of the only times you can have a serious conversation with all your family, like dealing with parents who are aging, dying or in a terrible state of health.
“The play finds a way to deal with it that is humorous but also really honest,” Watson said. “It sort of asks you about what it means to grow old and what do you want out of your life. Those are some good questions, even if you’re 18, 19 or 20.”
Adam Poole, who plays Donnie’s mid-life crisis baring husband, added to Watson’s thoughts.
“It’s kind of beautiful but also sad because we’re talking about our own mortality and memories and longevity,” Poole said. “What kind of legacy will you have if the last thing people remember of you is you not remembering who they are?”
Despite the seriousness, Kathy Williams said the characters are relatable, and the language and comedy are accessible for the audience. Williams will be playing Dotty, and cleverly explains that it’s a role where you have to remember to forget.
“When I first read it, I was like, 'Oh man, I know these people. I know every single one of these people in this play,'” Williams said. “Who knew a play about Alzheimer’s would be funny?”
Rasool Jahan, who plays the oldest daughter, Shelly, said that the actors have definitely met their match in this play, and that the audience will be surprised at what they laugh at.
“It’s a dark comedy, but there are some very serious things happening here,” Jahan said.
The play is broken up with humor, which Poole said forces you to laugh through the tears, since it could happen to you one day.
“I love what Colman does in the script,” Poole said. “He has these amazing, lovely, emotional, beautiful moments with Dotty. But he doesn’t let us linger in them too long.”
Poole’s character also thinks a juice cleanse is the answer to staying healthy and not becoming like Dotty. Poole’s favorite moment of the play is when he catches his partner cheating on the cleanse, while pigging out on leftovers and cookies.
The play will run until Dec. 10, and Williams says everyone should see it since so many families have dealt with this disease.
“Colman does not tie this up with a pretty bow, because that’s not life,” Williams said. “But it does help show everybody’s experience and how everybody is frustrated. But it’s so filled with love, because love overrides it all.”
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