In Peter Gil-Sheridan's thought-provoking drama What May Fall
, a man plummets to his death from a Minnesota skyscraper. It's a terrible event (particularly for the poor fellow), but the random incident becomes the inciting incident for a meditation on how death affects us all. Death, of course, is everywhere and can happen anytime -- but our reaction to it is often unpredictable.
For uptight business executive Mack (Nicholas S. Williams), the man's death forces him to confront the desire of his pregnant schoolteacher wife, Jo (Alana Dietze), to abort their possibly disabled child. For Mack's executive assistant, Mercy (a delightfully nebbishy Christopher Neiman), the death provides the impetus to take control over the art he wants to create. And for Arthur (Brad C. Light), a window washer who was the closest witness to the accident, the death throws up a mix of survivor's guilt and terror over the randomness of mortality.
Gil-Sheridan's crisp dialogue-driven characters are interconnected in ways that may seem a tad coincidental, but director Mary Jo DuPrey's intimate staging artfully brings to mind the mood of ensemble films by Robert Altman. Performers subtly craft characters grappling with flaws, who change following the death -- and often not in the way one expects. Particularly effective turns are offered by Williams as an engagingly uptight (and somewhat tortured) business executive, by Neiman as a frustrated and bitter assistant and by Dietze as a brittle wife.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Feb. 22. Continues through March 23, 2013