Ashlie Atkinson begins the hour-long show as Lillian, a youth minister filling in for the regular preacher who was injured in an ice hockey accident. She tells a rambling story about going to the Congo in search of her mentor, who disappeared there four years prior.
The speech starts out rather light-hearted, but grows darker as Lillian recounts some of her experiences, culminating in her taking care of a baby gorilla in a most extraordinary fashion. Atkinson handles the transition smoothly, and her emotional connection to the material lends poignancy to this far-out tale.
Brian Silliman then takes the stage, narrating the story of Gordon, a member of Lillian's congregation, who lives alone in a house that is made maddening by a strange scratching in the night.
As Gordon hatches various schemes to catch the unseen intruder, the narrative once again moves to darker places, and the final twist at the end is decidedly grim.
Silliman has a magnetic presence and knows how to vary intonation to build suspense or emphasize the humorous aspects of the script. Director Jordana Williams also deserves some of the credit for drawing out fine performances from both actors in MacKenzie's oddly compelling play.
-- Dan Bacalzo