Scripted: The Solidarity by Casey Ross

For our fourth Scripted, on Sunday, February 12th (RSVP here), we will be performing The Solidarity by Casey Ross. If you’ve dabbled in the Indy theatre community at all, you’ll know Casey. She is the executive director of Catalyst Repertory, a prolific playwright, a talented director, and a huge proponent for the community in general. In fact, this month’s Scripted is an hour earlier than normal, we’ll be doing it from 2pm-4pm, because Casey is directing Tooth of Crime and has a performance at 5pm! As an added bonus, if you come to Scripted and save your receipt from New Day, then go down the road to Grove Haus for the show, Casey will give you $5 off your ticket.

The Solidarity is a play Casey has been working on for a while – you might have seen it in a different incarnation. It will be produced by Nova Theatre this year and the fantastic cast for this reading is the cast that will be in the production. It centers around The Roast, a formerly indie coffee shop that has just been taken over by a franchise. And it also centers around Lloyd, the long-time barista of The Roast. Not the owner, just the person who opens it, closes it, takes care of it, runs everything, knows everyone.

Lloyd is a curmudgeon. There’s no better way to describe him. He wears black and brown and hates color. He also, on principle, hates Ben. Ben is a late-20-something who gets hired to be a second barista. He wears colors and has tattoos and is trying to get his life together, with varying degrees of success. To Lloyd’s chagrin, Ben is actually competent, but that just makes it easier for Lloyd to hate him. To make things even more complicated, long-time regular Heidi, has taken a shine to Ben.

This is a play that could very easily feel “small.” It’s regular people struggling with things that seem familiar. However, the strength of this play is how fully Casey imagines the inner lives of these characters. What they’re dealing with goes so much deeper than the surface level complications of the plot. And we, as the audience, get to see it, both through well-crafted dialogue and through monologues from Lloyd. The theatricality of this piece, the thing that makes it a play, is that we switch back and forth between the external and the internal. It’s a character study with a deep level of empathy.

And there’s humor, too, but I’m not going to ruin my favorite part for you. But just know, if you have ever touched a comic book in your life, you will appreciate this.

Caffeinate the masses! See you on Sunday, February 12th.