The American Dream distorted almost beyond recognition by mass foreclosures, women working on straight commission, men not working at all, and an alleged “higher power” who wants you to be rich beyond your wildest dreams, is the subject of the Women’s Project Theater’s production of “Bethany,” a new play by the young playwright Laura Marks.
The central character, Crystal, (played by America Ferrera, star of the “Ugly Betty” television series) is trying to regain custody of her daughter, Bethany, who has been placed in foster care because foreclosure has left her mother homeless.
Crystal is a victim of the American Dream, portrayed in this work as little more than an elaborate con game where honest, frantic people run like rats on a wheel – with firmer, secure ground hopelessly out of reach.
To fulfill the requirements of a social worker’s check list, played pitch perfectly by Myra Lucretia Taylor, Crystal is busy constructing her own small con game in a determined attempt to outwit the larger one that has trapped her.
To persuade the social worker she has a suitable home for her daughter,Crystal sneaks into a foreclosed house and forges a lease. But she soon finds she is not alone on this property. She’s been preceded there by Gary (Tobias Segal), a slightly paranoid survivalist of sorts who is living “below the radar,” but who is also the moral compass of the play.