In directing Red Ink at Playwrights Arena, Nike Doukas has provided a gem to Los Angeles Theatre audiences. A 95-minute journey into the heart and mind of an accomplished newspaper
reporter, the entire play takes place in the activities room of a psyche facility. Through drama therapy, Jerome (Leo Marks) looks for clarity and redemption after failing at a job he never wanted, as Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian, a once illustrious newspaper.
Steven Leigh Morris explores the pressures that have befuddled the changing news industry. Digital media, clickbait writing, corporate control, and pandering to advertisers. Above all, Jerome is passionate about the importance and value of a free press in modern society. The intimacy and honesty that address the stress and impact on our hero, captured in dialogue and actions, are so heartfelt that the personal investment is palpable. The mixture of wit and pathos kept me on the edge of my seat through the entire performance.
The narrative reveals fellow patients acting as the characters in Jerome’s’ life. Peter Van Norden, Tracey A. Leigh, Michelle Bonebright, Steven Culp, and Jocelyn Towne all play multiple roles. The entire cast is excellent. Every character (13 in total) is unique and very real. Through the entire journey, we not only see what Jerome sees, but through the exceptional talents of the entire cast, feel the confusion, the angst, and all the nuances that come in real life.
Nike Doukas uses this masterclass of actors with a deft awareness that this is more than a challenge of characters telling a story, but the journey of commitment, fighting for sanity and finding a way to honor the passions that drive creativity.
Do not miss this experience! Red Ink is a production that will stay with you and encourage you, ever reminding us that no challenge is free of cost, but every obstacle offers opportunity.
Atwater Village Theatre
3269 Casitas Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90039