Man With Wings
Written by Ben R. Williams
Directed by Kenley Smith
Starring Patrick Kennerly & Drew Dowdy
Ben R. Williams’ newest play brilliantly proves that plot, script and delivery alone can still keep a crowd at full attention. Taking place at a table in a small apartment the story centers around an ex-sheriff of Henry, VA and a writer questioning the sheriff’s unusual experiences in 1971.
The part of the sheriff played by Kennerly is that of a storyteller lost in a past that haunts him. Dowdy plays the writer who has traveled quite a distance to learn of the sheriff’s tale. He intends to have the account be the proving point in a book about the paranormal he has be working on for half his life.
These stories the sheriff recollects are centered around the “Thunderbird” creature many people in the town claim to have spotted throughout one year leading up to the Christmas of ’71. The creature is best compared to the “Mothman” incident which occured a few hundred miles west in Point Pleasant, WV.
Director Kenley Smith does an amazing job bringing so much out of these actors in such close quarters. He makes use of the intimate space realizing the audience is a part of this conversation. Set designer Jason Herbert shows the failed present state of the sheriff well through the layout of his apartment. Two pieces that stand out are the diner sign and the eery angle of the walls.
Kennerly’s sheriff is a sympathy-based character; a once well respected man now a shell of what he once was living in a small apartment above a diner. All he has is the past which is evenhandedly full of fondness, spite and regret. Patrick Kennerly convinces you to take pity upon him, even in times of fault.
Drew Dowdy as the writer is a character you can’t stop thinking about after you leave the production. At the start of the play he seems almost comic relief-ish but that is quickly thrown out the window by the end. An actor with true command over expression and tone.
This short hour long play is worth seeing more than once. By the end of the play the story becomes something you didn’t quite expect from when you first enter the theater. That twist in plot stays with you well after the production is finished and you have left the theater. See it while you can!
This production has a limited run from August 10th-21st.
See it this week in its final stretch Wednesday through Saturday, 8pm. Or on its last day on Sunday (21st) at 2pm.