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*Copyright notice*
All contents of this site are copyright of Bottle Tree Productions, Anne Marie Mortensen, and Charles Robertson, except where acknowledgment is given otherwise. You may not reproduce the content of this site without express written permission from one of us. You may link back to the site. YOu may link to an appropriate page but not directly to a download. You may not use images without written permission. You may not offer monologues or other downloads available on this site as if they were your own. You may use monologues for audition and learning purposes only, as PRINTED material.

Halifax Chronicle Herald Theatre Review

Gruer's mastery shines in Ghost of the Tree

Ghost of the Tree, written and directed by Charles Robertson, marries a clever script to an accomplished 18-year-old actress to evoke in monologue form a family tree extending backward from the present for seven generations.

Mackenzie Gruer plays seven generations of women, each one caught at a time when pregnancy triggers melancholy reflections on the unhappy circumstances of their lives.

Gruer's mastery of dramatic beats makes her performance virtuosic without flamboyance and the play is more powerful because of it.

She quickly establishes each personality at a moment of time, aided only by a single prop — an outsize winter coat, a knitted shawl, an apron, a feather boa, a tattered valise, an elegant hat — all worn over black tights. All but the shawl are rose-hip red, and red oak leaves are scattered over the black back wall.

Men come off poorly in this play, an issue which is only presented, not addressed by the clever script.

But Gruer, in only five or 10 minutes brings each woman vividly to life, subtly changing accent and inflection as well as body language. Her performance illuminates the desparate lives behind these moments in time so persuasively we can almost see them.

The production professionally integrates costume, setting and lights with admirable simplicity and directness.

Stephen Pedersen, arts reporter Halifax Chronicle Herald

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