Finally, we have Bruce Pratt’s Barter, a dark drama about class and exploitation set in rural coastal Maine. Artist Martha (MK Spain) and architect Allen (Nick Schroeder) hire Roger (Eric Worthley), who went to school with Allen, for a home repair, then try to find a way to bring down his price. Dark sides soon emerge: Some revelations are epic and shocking; the less obvious ones are meant to be almost as disturbing, for how benign they appear on the surface. Pratt’s premise is an interesting one and his characters develop richly, though the play could stand a slightly narrower honing; Pratt takes on an ambitious amount of dramatic transformation for such a short work.
Megan Grumbling can be reached at email@example.com.
2010 MAINE PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL | Produced by Acorn Productions | through May 1 | at the St. Lawrence Arts Center | followed by the first-ever 24-Hour Play Festival | acorn-productions.org
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