“Luna Gale” is an utterly striking insight to the harsh reality of the foster care system.
The play revolves around Caroline, played by Mary Beth Fisher, a hardworking social worker who has long since stopped believing in the power of faith. She is working with a teenaged couple, Karlie (Reyna de Courcy) and Peter (Colin Sphar), whose meth-addiction has caused the state of Iowa to remove their infant daughter, Luna Gale. She is placed in temporary custody of the “crazy Christian” grandmother, Cindy, played by Jordan Baker.
Rebecca Gilman manages another incredible eye-opening story, one that only took nine years to perfect, as she told critics. However, nine years was well worth the wait. The play questions first impressions, leaving you rooting for the meth-addicts and loathing the religious grandmother. Throughout the play your sympathy is torn, challenging set stereotypes until every one of your first impressions are undermined.
Harsh fluorescent lighting of the hospital, brightly colored toys in a foster care play-room, and the mismatched furniture of a middle-class home all add to the authenticity of “Luna Gale”. Each scene was perfectly familiar and completely recognizable. The rotating set was shaped as a huge revolving dial, giving the illusion of several scenes happening at once. Even the music choice between scenes was soft and instrumental, emphasizing the everyday occurrences instead of a big dramatic performance. However, although this set worked very well in context, the quiet music matched with the elaborate set made every little set change a distraction.
“Luna Gale” is both a heartwarming and heart wrenching tale that will leave you thinking about the challenges of the foster care system and redefining your own personal stereotypes for days after.