Two Girls

By Grace Lisandrelli, 12th Grade, Archbishop Molloy High SchoolTwo Girls, a play written and performed as a one-woman show by Gabrielle Maisles, chronicles the lives of two young women growing up in South Africa during the turbulent apartheid era.One of the girls, Lindiwe, rallies alongside her fellow black South Africans for equality among the races. Corinne, a young Jewish girl whose family employs Lindiwe’s mother, supports the anti-apartheid cause as well, aspiring to one day fix South Africa’s many issues. Following Nelson Mandela’s election as President of the “new” South Africa in April 1994, Corinne, Lindiwe and many other South Africans believe the battle for justice has been won. They soon face the sobering reality, however, that several of the country’s problems would persist long after Mandela’s inauguration, including the AIDS epidemic and soaring unemployment rates. Lindiwe eventually marries a South African revolutionary and bears a daughter. Corinne marries a physician and has a daughter and son. Corinne and her family later emigrate to Boston at the height of another momentous political situation – the 2008 presidential race between Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain. Lindiwe accompanies Corinne and her family to Boston in order to earn a college degree and money to support her unemployed husband and daughter back home. Corinne and Lindiwe find themselves engaged in the revolutionary spirit of the U.S. election and promoting change, once again, in a country that so desperately needs it.

I was surprised to find one actress playing not only Corinne and Lindiwe but also every other character in the play. I commend Gabrielle Maisels’s efforts in memorizing an incredible amount of dialogue and commanding the stage with great ease. Other than Maisels’s impeccable performance, however, I found the storyline difficult to follow. The transition between characters was muddled and it was challenging to decipher the heavily South African accented dialogue. While Two Girls has a great deal of potential, it sadly fails to deliver due to the limitations of being portrayed by a sole performer.

Schedule and ticket information here.