Deborah Pryor’s mystical potboiler takes us into Romulus Linney turf — the land of Appalachian folklore, where we meet two sisters (Kelley Birney and Stephanie Mitchell) scraping out a roughshod existence in woods rife with sprites. The seductive visits of spirits such as The Red Head (Sharyn Gabriel) and a Pan-like elf named The Love Talker (Sean Galuszka) to the younger sister, Gowdie Blackmun (Mitchell), trigger a brutal protectionist stance by the elder, Bun Blackmun (Birney), based on a combination of Bun’s personal history and perhaps jealousy. Therein lies the glue to the story; far more interesting than the slowly emerging backstory is Pryor’s florid, indigenous poeticism, which carries with it primal philosophies drawn from a stark life, ruminations that cut to the bone of who we are beneath the veneer of our wobbly comfort and confidence. All of this comes wrapped in the authentic rags and dirt of Galuszka’s staging (costumed and choreographed by Gabriel) and Logan Wippern’s ominous lighting design — working together to lift Pryor’s mystery into a visceral event. Son of Semele Theater, 3301 Beverly Blvd., L.A.; Tues.-Thurs., 8 p.m.; through Dec. 11. (818) 255-5330.

Nov. 18-20, 8 p.m.; Nov. 24-26, 8 p.m.; Dec. 2-4, 8 p.m.; Dec. 9-11, 8 p.m., 2008

LA Weekly