Jewel Box Theatre stages premiere of “Excavation”

Rob Barron's “Excavation,” winner of the Jewel Box Theatre's 2012 playwriting competition, is being staged through Dec. 9 at Jewel Box Theatre.
BY ELIZABETH HURD Modified: November 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm •  Published: November 23, 2012
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She was often referred to as “lightning girl” by those in the community where she searched for fossils to sell as a way of supporting her family.

“Excavation” intertwines her history with the fictional story of Josh and Kenny Peterson as they struggle to survive in a modern world with little support for a suddenly grieving father and son. Barron weaves the two stories together as the characters appear simultaneously and seem to interact on a mental level.

It is Anning's dedication that gives the young boy hope.

McDonald uses a simple set that suggests that classical structure of a museum, as well as the cliffs and pits of Dorset.

The characters are well established with very good performances among the principals as well as versatile multiple cameo parts in the cast.

A'Mari Rocheleau's Anning is excellent. She establishes the slight abrasiveness that intelligent women often had to develop during this period yet she tempers Anning's personality with sensitivity and joy in her work.

Josh Peterson is wonderfully done by Chris Briscoe — harried, hapless and hopelessly confused about what needs to be done for his son.

As Kenny, Nathan Ferguson does an exceptional job of portraying autism, which can be devastating even in a mild form. David Burkhart, John Q. Wilson, Todd Murray, Curt Rose and CheyAnne Stickler round out this very competent cast with distinctive characterizations.

— Elizabeth Hurd

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