“Create yourself being” is a phrase that would drive linguists insane, yet it is one that many self help professionals use. It is the idea that you are responsible for your life and how you react to things. For example you do not blame another for what they have done to you, for you alone are in charge of how you respond to such actions. “Complete” written by Andrea Kuchlewska now in its West Coast Premiere by Wilder Theatrics, asks these such questions through the interwoven story of Eve (Meredith Bishop) and Micah (Scott Kruse), their love for language as PHD Linguist students, and as both having experienced “The Program” which is based off of the 1970’s-80’s fad EST.
The story itself is interesting, yet where it loses momentum is in the way it is laid out. Filled with much repetition and time jumping, it easy to get bored and lost. Because of the jumping back and forth,and side to side in to different time frames, it takes a minute to realize in which time frame the scene is taking place. Though it is followable, it distracts from the overall plot of the play and could perhaps be arranged to flow more smoothly. Another distracting part of this piece is the repetitiveness. Some scenes are played more than once in their entirety and I just do not see the need for this. Others are first described within a scene, as a character is referring to what had happened previously. Than later on in the play that aforementioned scene is then played out. It is not needed, you do not have to describe an entire situation and then show it. If many of these scenes were cut the, 90 minute length of the play would be closer to 60, which would probably be better for holding the attention of the audience.
The saving grace of this play is the acting. Though a difficult piece of material to work through, the three leads do a phenomenal job. Kruse brings warmth and immense character to Micha, making him adorable and extremely likeable. You feel for him as he does the only thing Eve would hate for him to do just to be able to tell her that he loves her. Bishop is psychotic and afraid as Eve, a not-so-proud graduate of “The Program” who resents it for telling her that she is to blame for how her father’s abuse has impacted her. Their chemistry is perfect for their characters and their wildly heated arguments are hilarious to watch.
Overall “Complete” has a lot of good potential; it contains an interesting story and a fascinating topic. However, perhaps it is trying to cover too much. Their is so much behind the personal stories of Eve and Micah and yet they are barely covered, because the focus is “The Program” and how it has affected Eve and Micah. If the play was reconstructed, I truly feel that it could be a powerful piece of work. If this is ever done, then I would go back to the actors cast in this current production, for they bring an electricity to this odd and rather chaotic piece of theater.
“Complete” is being presented by Wilder Theatrics at The Matrix Theatre in Hollywood until March 30th.