POST: Aftermath - complex and serious

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What's it about?

Aftermath is an evening that features two complex and serious shows. The first, this is my (trigger warning), deals with PTSD and how people cope with it. The second, Reach, is about a woman (Leila) who lost her husband because of horrible events during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, but is in denial that he is dead. Her ex-boyfriend (Jordan) pays her a visit, after not seeing each other for four years, but Leila doesn't know how to deal with it. 


What'd I experience?

Well, first of all, I was almost late to this show. I was in Soho shopping like I had so much time on my hands. I ran to the 6 train, got off on 33rd street and as soon as I got to the Ivy Theater Company I got my tickets from the box office and sat down. I was right on time. But the show didn't start for about 15 minutes - so I was rushing for nothing, not to mention I had on a black turtle neck which made me super hot. 

The show started with 5 girls on stage. They were all breathing heavily like they were experiencing an asthma attack. I kid you not when I say they were breathing heavily for about 10 minutes. In that moment, I was over it. Like girls... are you going to speak? All this noise is too much!

They finally stopped. They had a grey sheet on set and 2 girls used it to wrap around one of the girls body. I think it was to illustrate that she was suffocating and died. That was pretty deep. It was deep to me not because she was dead but because of the way in which she died. She suffocated. That is such a nightmare. 

A trigger went off and the dead girl was alive again. I made the assumption that every time the trigger went off it was a new scenario, because I noticed the girls moving into different directions and positions following the sound of the trigger. To me, the trigger represented a change in someone's life for the worse. All 5 of the girls were depressed, saddened, and looked so weak. Each of them had their own battles to fight and were wearing their emotions on their sleeve. This show ended with a song called "She was never crazy." I believe they sang that because "she" is all of them and they were all acting crazy now but they weren't crazy before. The events that have happened to them that we don't know about are the reasons why she is now "crazy." This show illustrated to me how frustrating it really is to deal with PTSD and how different people cope with it. 

The second show was Reach and I must say it was easier to understand and pay attention to than the first. It started with a girl in her apartment walking around. She heard a knock on her door and it was her ex-boyfriend (Jordan) who she hasn't seen in four years. Jordan talks to her about her husband who is dead. But he also talks to her about the future they (Jordan and Leila) could have had. Leila is in denial that her husband is dead because she always goes to the hospital to talk to him and she constantly writes him letters, as well. She hasn't come to grips with the fact that he was a cop who died while trying to help others during Hurricane Katrina. I can only imagine losing someone you love, how sad. They had no kids, so to me that made it even worse. At least if they had kids she would be able to see your husband through their eyes and watch them grow.

Jordan kept talking to Leila all night, trying to get her to kiss him. I could tell that from the moment he came to visit her, he wanted to rekindle what they had. He would constantly look into her eyes deeply and talk about their past. Leila was so frustrated and ended up kissing him. She was the one who actually leaned in for the kiss. I was like "Nooooooooo! You were so close to not giving in!" As she kept kissing and conversing with Jordan, her feelings for him progressed. She was so vulnerable and wanted love. Her husband is dead and she basically isolated herself from the world. She seemed so depressed and wanted some kind of companionship. All of it led to them having sex. I totally saw that coming. I could see it in Leila's eyes.

The next day Leila explained to Jordan that she didn't mean to do anything with him. Jordan missed his relationship with Leila and didn't want her to feel anything less than excited that he was back in her life. So, he brought her furniture and flowers the next day. Leila wasn't happy about this and wanted him to leave. She didn't like the fact that she gave in and started to feel past feelings for Jordan. I could understand why because she's still attached to her husband and she had no intention to see Jordan let alone have sex with him. It was just a convenient time and moment. But at the same time, you could tell she still has feelings for Jordan by the way she looked at him. After dealing with the fact that he wants to stay in her life now, she gives him the chance to help her cope with the death of her husband.


 

Want to see it?

$9 tickets
(thru TDF's OffOff@9)
$18 tickets

Aftermath
Ivy Theatre Company
@ Lucid Body House
thru Nov. 21