A journey through grief and self-discovery is at the heart of the one-woman show, A Hundred Words for Snow, playing at the CT Repertory Theatre in Storrs until October 15. This is the company’s first production of the 2023 – 2024 season and marks the beginning of their first full Equity season since the pandemic.
The actress Tea Guarino, in a superb performance, plays Rory, a teenager who has just lost her father, a geography teacher at her school, in a car accident. The two were very close and shared a sense of adventure together. As she tries to process her loss, she rummages around her dad’s now empty home office, an urn with his cremated remains in hand. Rory discovers his personal journey about a planned trip to The North Pole. In fact, an itinerary has already been mapped out. In a flash, the young woman decides to travel from England to the top of the world to scatter his ashes. From there, as Sherlock Holmes would state, “the game is afoot.”
Playwright Tatty Hennessy has crafted an exciting adventure yarn leavened with a story that handles the loss of a loved one and the emergence of a teen’s sexual awakening. The almost two-hour, intermission-less, show could be pared down, but the work does captivate as the epic expedition hurtles towards its heartfelt conclusion. Ms. Hennessy has drawn a fully-fledged character in Rory. We feel her pain and quietly cheer her triumphs.
The actress Tea Guarino, slight in build, with expressive features and a bubbly personality, beautifully and exuberantly embodies the adventurous teenager. She conveys a toughness and resolve, but also an emotional depth that broadens her portrayal. Ms. Guarino is a compelling storyteller, a necessary attribute for a one-woman show.
Brendon Fox’s direction has a quickened pace, which briskly moves the action from a comfortable British home to the wilds of Norway and beyond. He adeptly incorporates moments of reflection with scenes of urgency and determination. The Director effectively integrates Christina J. Garner’s Scenic Design of a simple, painterly backdrop resembling snow and ice. There is one movable set piece, resembling a broken piece of ice floe, but also serves a variety of purposes during the show. Hannah Corbett’s Lighting and Dennis Dowding’s Sound Design provide nuance and subtlety to the play.
A Hundred Words for Snow, a striking production with a bravo performance by Tea Guarino. Click here for dates, times and ticket information.