Michael Hollinger’s play Ghost-Writer, receiving its regional premier at the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, surely had some great tech behind it last night, including especially Matthew Callahan’s sound design. Everything was a little bit of perfect, deliberate and deliberative, yet finally I left feeling unsatisfied.
I wondered whether the direction of D. Lynn Meyers would have been much aided by adding a dramaturg to the team, but in the end I have to lay this little failure (or qualified success) at Hollinger’s door. Don’t get me wrong: the guy’s a serious artist groping his way toward a moving historical play; this just isn’t it yet. Chapel Hill Playmaker’s production of his Opus a couple seasons back was memorable, but Hollinger’s still finding his voice. (Whoa, I recognize that problem.) I should add that the character of Vivian Woolsey, the novelist’s husband played by Lourelene Snedeker, ought to be a spoiler but never rises much above caricature as the jealous wife.
So: nice theatre, and you have to love their attention to detail. Take your granny.