A couple months back the world was shocked when authorities discovered 13 children shackled and tortured in their own home in Perris, California. It is extremely difficult to even imagine such horror and yet again just recently 10 more children were found in their Fairfield, California home under similar circumstances. Has our world gone totally mad? I grew up in a time when giving a kid a swat on his or her fanny to emphasize an error and encourage a correction was the norm but soon parents doing such things were being ostracized and the practice mostly drifted away. Yet now dozens of children are being found in unthinkable horror from their own parents.
Possibly at least somewhat motivated by such current events or possibly merely by a very focused imagination on the workings of the minds of people who commit such horrors and the deep and lasting impact it has on the victims motivated playwright Steve Apostolina to write “Foverever Bound” now playing at Atwater Village Theatre. But whatever the motivation or inspiration what appears onstage in “Forever Bound” is without question one of the most compelling plays currently on stage anywhere.
It begins when two friends chat about their financial struggles with one of them facing eviction because he is unable to pay his rent. Broke he may be but he also has ample integrity. So when his friend Shep suggests he has a solution to his friend Edmund’s financial woes Edmund is stunned to learn it involves stealing a very valuable book and he declines. But as the noose tightens Edmund reconsiders and eventually it is agreed that the burglary will be done.
All goes well except for one little very unexpected thing, Edmund returns not only with the valuable book but with a young women who he found shackled in the basement of the burglary victims house. The young woman, Rosalind, is clearly severely traumatized and eventually her full story unfolds.
As this story unfolds on stage it builds and illuminates the many horrific and powerful ways in which such unconscionable behavior deeply wounds the victim. The path to recovery is long and uncertain but love and compassion do make a huge difference. It is this dynamic that is so masterfully written by Steve Apostolina and presented by the superb acting of French Stewart [Edmund], Rob Nagle [Thomas], Emily Goss [Rosalind] and Steve Apostolina [Shep and Playwright].
It also presents such intriguing real life dilemmas the most overpowering is what do they do with the young woman? The obvious choice would be to take her to the Police so perhaps she can be reunited with her family and the evil man may captured and sent to prison. But the problem with that is how do they explain how they happened to find her? “Well officer there I was burglarizing this house when unexpectedly I found this nice young lady.” Well they really didn’t want to do that, so what could they do? That my friends is what you must go and discover for yourself. I assure you that the process will be spellbinding.
You may see the very best show in town at the Atwater Village Theatre, 3289 Casitas Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90039 now through June 16, 2018. Reservations and information are available by calling 323-960-4429 or online at: foreverbound website. You should leave the kids at home but you will delighted that you went.
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Photo Credit: Kathy Flynn