It’s another dry, hot day. Your garden is starting to show signs of dehydration, resulting in frustration and annoyance, especially after all the love you poured into it. Then, to top things off, you have to stop Lior, your autistic teenage son, from playing his cello to prepare your home office for an emergency therapy session. More frustration, along with nervousness about this new client. He sounded awfully distressed when he called, this “G.”
…a clever play that pushes the boundaries of our individual and collective relationships to God…
Enter a man dressed in all black, who, when asked about his name, replies, “I am who I am” and “I can go by whatever name you’d like.”
What would you do in this moment? Would you even believe that the person before you, claiming to be the Creator, is real, let alone feels the same emotions you unpack with other therapy clients, let alone yourself? If you had the chance to pick apart God’s past, relationships and fears, would you even dare?
“Oh, God,” is Mosaic Theater Company of DC’s first comedy in the longstanding Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival. And while the play certainly starts off with a lot of quick one-liners – from God’s (lack of) family history, to his perception of time while creating Earth, to his reasoning for creating the kangaroo’s pouch – the dialogue takes a serious turn when God admits his desire to commit suicide and put an end, once and for all, to the world he created.
Written in Hebrew by the late Israeli playwright Anat Gov, and translated by Anthony Berris and Margalit Rodgers, “Oh, God” is a clever play that pushes the boundaries of our individual and collective relationships to God, no matter what, if any, religious beliefs we previously or currently hold.
Kimberly Schraf is fantastic as Ella, God’s one-time psychologist. Her interactions with her son Lior were convincing and well-thought out, while her outbursts at God were relatable. Cameron Sean McCoy was superb in his portrayal of Lior. His ability to shift from calm moments, such as when he was playing the cello, to extreme distress, such as when he broke a frame, demonstrated his extensive study with Special Needs Consultant, Dana Gillepsie. Finally, Mitchell Hérbert convincingly showcased a multitude of emotions as a “human” God, ranging from loneliness to anger to sarcasm.
From the moment I walked into the theater, I felt convinced I was in a child therapist’s office. Jonathan Dahm Robertson’s set immediately brought a sense of calm, with a variety of plants and brightly colored sensory toys scattered around the room. Additionally, his decision to include rain at the end was a nice, unexpected surprise that helped bring the play full circle. Meanwhile, Brittany Shemuga and Roc Lee shifted the light and sound effects just enough to make God’s ‘fear-inducing, all powerful” outbursts shocking enough to stop Ella in her tracks.
Mosaic Theater Company of DC’s production of “Oh, God” is well-timed with the new year,
Running Time: 90 minutes with no intermission.
Advisory: Intermittent cursing.
“Oh, God” plays from December 12, 2018 until January 13, 2019 at Mosaic Theater Company of DC in Washington, DC. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the box office at (202) 399-7993 ext. 2 or click here.