Written by Alina Mae Wilson
It had wit, heartfelt emotion, and well-developed characters that are brought to life successfully by some really good actors who just happen to still be in high school. With a well written and hilarious script, Whisper all the Time at Estancia High School in Costa Mesa succeeds in telling the story of troubled family looking to reconnect — you won’t mind, that the adults look sixteen (they’re that good).
Whisper All the Time is a dark comedy that centers on the trials and tribulations of four adult siblings after the passing of their father. Each dealing with their own issues, we watch them struggle with their relationships, jobs, hopes, and dreams. Without giving too much away, the complexities of their problems are both clear enough to understand and convoluted enough for the audience to understand that there is not always a straight forward answer to every problem in life. Additionally, there is something ironic about seeing such tryingly familiar problems being worked through by such fresh-faced and youthful performers. Acting issue are not non-existent, but they were rare enough to allow the show to be on par with many of the other theatre productions we’ve reviewed before.
Slade Garnett and Samuel Cruz do a wonderful portrayal of the characters, Selina and Greg. Cruz in particular has a tentative and withdrawn demeanor which compliments Greg’s identity as a victim of what could be referred to as either an old fashioned upbringing or outright abuse. Garnett is just so real in everything she does, there is never any doubt of her sincerity throughout the performance. Those performances stood out to me, but frankly every actors delivered a pretty consistent performance. When there were lapses in delivery, the quips are clever enough so that the jokes are successfully amusing.
In a subplot regarding Emily Anderson (the sister). Emily stands up to her brother’s, who in the story are constantly trying scrutinize her love life, a double standard put on her because she’s a women. It makes a strong stand for the notion that love/romance is not the problem or end all solution in every female’s life. Nick Juarez did a great job writing a quick witted funny comedy that proves, you don’t need a professional cast to make great theatre. You know maybe sometimes adults just get in the way.
Learn more about Nick Juarez the writer of Whisper All The Time check out the story on the young playwrights creative process at the link below.