FringeTastic: 22 Stories

By Olivia VirtaSenior Plogger At 23, my angst-filled high school years feel like a lifetime ago. Sofia Johnson’s play 22 Stories brought all those memories crashing back. The play follows 17 year-old twin sisters who could not be more different: Nichole is a neat-freak honor student and Natasha is a messy dark soul. Natasha’s dark psyche causes her to do the unthinkable - she jumps off of the roof of her family’s 22-story apartment building. The play portrays the events leading up to Natasha’s suicide and follows Nichole’s shattered heart and world after her sister’s death. Playwright Johnson - who it must be noted is only 17 herself - deserves praise. On a purely visceral level she reminds the audience just how difficult the teen years can be. 22 Stories is a truly heartfelt play, but the writing and the acting fall short of expectations. I chalk this up to the playwright’s youth and I look forward to the work that is to come as she grows. Likewise, the acting fails to impress – each cast member possesses a fierce heart, but lacks technical skill. For example, although the theater was small, neither my companion nor I could hear or understand all of the dialogue. Technique is a craft that comes with time and practice, and all of these young artists are on the right path. 22 Stories is a play with universal themes and a great deal of potential, and I look forward to seeing where it goes. TICKETS