A beautiful yet haunting step into the lives of one extended family during war-time. The detail is exquisite, the staging beautifully done. This is one of the best MBS productions I have ever seen. Poignant."
Susan English, Goldstar member.
"A MOMENT IN THE LIFE OF WILLA DEE ARVIS was written by Mark-Brian Sonna after a chance encounter with an obituary that sparked his imagination. The obit was true and the story is based on fact. But much of the story dissapeared after 1942. The author's imagination kicked in and made this a tale of woe, a suspicion of betrayal, and a question of life long consequences....It's a Greek tragedy..." - Charlie Bowles, Associate critic for THE COLUMN.
March 30, 2017 – April 23, 2017, at the Stone Cottage Theatre
Dallas, Summer 1942: Two seemingly ordinary women, Willa Dee and her cousin Emily await the mail. National Geographic is doing a pictorial about American enlisted men training in the Bahamas, and they've gotten word that their husbands are featured in the photos. The arrival of the magazine and the viewing of the photographs opens up a Pandora's tinder box of memories, revelations and family secrets. As they reminisce, a mystery begins to unfold about a fateful evening. Willa Dee and Emily each possess different information about the events of what actually transpired. The arrival of family friend Euel, who holds the key to the mystery sets ablaze their emotions which forever alters the course of each of their lives. Touching, bitingly funny, and ultimately tragic, this play will move you and at the same time comfort you as you discover how each life, regardless of how mundane, is special.
"...a clear and unerring reminder of how superior theatre art not only entertains an audience but invites reflection and inspires introspection. The audience members find themselves immediately and intimately drawn into sharing the joys and sorrows of the female protagonist. Her path of discovery leading to a startling, life-changing revelation is elevated from maudlin to universal level by masterful playwriting…”
Alexandra Bonifield, Critical Rant & Rave
"It's been said that everyone is the star of the story of his own life, and Mark-Brian Sonna's new play A Moment in the Life of Willa Dee Arvis sets out to prove that. Inspired by an actual obituary, Sonna constructed a story about the key event 60 years past that forever altered the trajectory of a woman's life...if 'Willa Dee Arvis' seems a bit familiar, it is intentionally so. The audience figures out the Deep, Dark Secret well before the characters do, which adds a tragic layer to Willa and Emily's ignorance. You feel for them...they are not villains, but victims of social conventions... the story succeeds in being genuinely affecting,"