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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Laberge

"Tin Woman" has a heart of gold

Co-director Rebecca Richards says it best in her directors note: "Through richly drawn characters and the incredible circumstances in which their lives intersect, The Tin Woman is a story of survival, forgiveness, living life, and so much more." Lake Country Playhouse is hosting the play through March 31st.

The company of The Tin Woman. All photos by Jim Baker.

The Tin Woman follows Joy (Alyssa Falvey), a graphic artist and heart recipient, and the family of Jack (Zachary Klahn), recently deceased photographer and heart donor. Despite being newly brought together on a physical level, the emotional barriers between Joy and Alice, Hank, and Sammy continue to grow and grow, fortified by fear of what lies beyond.

Klahn, Fuchs, and Sarna in The Tin Woman.

Sara Sarna reaches a heightened level of humanity in her portrayal of Alice, Jack's mother. Sarna weaves a perpetual search for tragedy's silver linings throughout a deep-set anger, towards that which is beyond her control. In the face of loss, Alice's longings transform into desperations.

Opposing Alice is her husband, Hank, who makes no effort to hide his anger. Played by Bob Fuchs, Hank is the textbook image of escapism. Clouded by his own pride, he refuses to grieve, or accept, the loss of his son. When brought face-to-face with Joy, the literal heartbeat of his son in her chest, Hank is brought to a screeching stalemate.

Falvey, Anderson, and Sarna in The Tin Woman.

Despite the heavy content of the script, Cayla Anderson, Breanne Brennan, and Ariel Rosen each bring necessary doses of lightheartedness. Particularly memorable is Anderson, as Jack's sister Sammy. This kindergarten teacher is very in touch with her sensitive side, and when seeing "the river" of life, she is reduced to hysterics.

Anderson, Sarna, Fuchs, Falvey, and Klahn in The Tin Woman.

Directors Nancy Hurd and Rebecca Richards aren't telling a story of miracles, but rather the true story of organ donation, and the profound impact one life can continue to have, even when the journey seems to have reached an end. Human beings are more closely connected than we readily accept. The Tin Woman has heart, and beats with a comforting, familiar pulse.

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