The problems faced by childless people who long for a family form the overarching theme of Cornerstone Theater’s community-workshop-based production. Written by Julie Marie Myatt and directed by Michael John Garcés, the piece highlights two stories: that of Sam (Shishir Kurup) and Anne (Bhani Turpin), a childless middle-aged couple who opt for surrogacy after their in-vitro efforts fail; and the tale of Ruth (Diana Elizabeth Jordan), a single disabled woman who, after rescuing a newborn in an alley, decides she wants a baby of her own. Their sagas are intercut with chronicles of other adopting couples and single moms, as well as prochoice testimonials from women who have decided on abortion because of rape, abuse, a disintegrating marriage or extreme youth, among other reasons. One of the piece’s stronger aspects is the light in which it portrays the medical establishment, as illustrated by Peter Howard’s colorful performance as a self-centered doctor who, despite his protestations to the contrary, appears to get off on playing God. There are poignant and amusing moments, especially from Kurup, in a layered performance as a wry and ultimately conflicted father-to-be. Turpin and Jordan also effectively depict their characters’ emotional dilemma. (The uneven ensemble is a mix of professional and nonprofessional performers, which is part of this company’s mission.) The piece, with its embrace of many issues, never quite disguises its educational purpose — not necessarily a bad thing, but here, it distracts from the potentially visceral drama.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: May 29. Continues through June 22, 2008
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