Max Berry, Contributing Critic - New York City
“Maker of Worlds”, written by Wendy A. Schmidt, follows, Martha (God), her husband, and a whole host of characters across time, all played with great fun by Amy Gorelow. We see Martha grapple with her creation and the decision of whether or not to destroy it all and start over, as well as reminisce about various moments from biblical times and onward, expressing her love for both the world and the people in it. All of this is told through multiple monologues, each from the point of view of a different character in the creation with varying connections to God.
The multiple short scenes were both inconsistent in their entertainment level as well as in their connection to the bigger idea. What started strong, with the female personification of God showing us how she “made the world” with a series of DIY tasks in a fun and decently thoughtful way, became uninteresting with the husband of God going into a long long rant about accounting, with very little room for anything to be said or for anything to relate to the initial story that was laid out. Other scenes had varying levels of enjoyment, with the pleasant yoga scene and the unnecessary musician cameo, but it was this second scene that was the most difficult.
Gorelow played each of the characters and did a good job considering the wide array of personalities she had to portray. She weaved through each voice skillfully and, to her credit, gave unique life to each of them. Though, over time the differences waned and I found myself feeling like I was just watching a single character that was altered slightly moving through the play. I will say Gorelow had a great warmth that took over the space throughout the show and put a smile on the audiences faces despite all of that.
I found it hard to latch on to a central idea in the show, I suppose it was something like “See the beauty in everything”? Though, due to the constant moving around from character monologue to character monologue, forward and back and forward in time, it was hard to keep track of what I was supposed to be getting out of the piece. Often there would also be long tangents that would take away from that idea and last much longer than they should. In short, this play had a rather muddled quality that left me confused and kind of uninterested.
There were a lot of cool concepts and ideas about religion that were started with this piece but never really followed through with. I also love the idea of God having a spouse and think that this is something that could be explored even more. The demon slaying scene was also a fun moment. I would encourage the artists to keep going with this idea and maybe consider opening it up to not being a one-woman show. But as it stands, “Maker of Worlds” was not a world I’ll be returning to.
“Maker of Worlds” was written by Wendy A. Schmidt and directed by Jeri Frederickson.
It stared Amy Gorelow.
It was stage managed by Becky Warner and assistant stage managed by Andre Mahdi.
It was presented at Theater for the New City (155 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003) as a part of their Dream Up Festival, September 2nd-7th.