My review of ‘A Leaning Tower’ at the Yellow Barn


Scott Screws in “A Leaning Tower”

Most of us aim, in the course of our lives, to build something that will outlast us. Many grasp at immortality by way of our children, whom we hope will carry our memory (not to mention our genetic code) into the future. But for the two characters in Joanna Hasting’s new play A Leaning Tower, presented by the recently-resurrected Ellipsis Theatre Company at Ann Arbor’s Yellow Barn, striving to build a structure that stretches into the heavens seems to be a goal that plays a prominent role in the pair being reincarnated again and again.

Fortescue (Hastings) is an artist who, in her current incarnation, dreams of building a grandiose, sky-scraping arts center that provides the world with a gathering place that celebrates art as a common language. And although she doesn’t remember it, her partner, an architect named Smythe (Scott Screws), tells her that in former lives they were twins joined at the forehead who designed the original Tower of Babel.

Building an enormous temple requires money, of course, so Fortescue and Smythe apply for, and receive, grants. But when the costs far outstrip the duo’s funds, they start robbing banks, hearkening back to their previous identities as Bonnie and Clyde, and as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. But can they sustain a crime spree long enough to finally see their goal through to its end, and thus stop this Sisyphean cycle?  READ THE REST HERE


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