Do This: Lab Theater Project launches with a topical new play, Cleave

Memorable performances in a play that resonates.

click to enlarge Michael McGreevy, Kayla Bryant and Caitlin Eason. - Shawn Hemmond
Shawn Hemmond
Michael McGreevy, Kayla Bryant and Caitlin Eason.

Two more weekends to go to catch a compelling new play, Cleave, from a brand new company, Lab Theater Project.

Lab may be new, but its roots are deep. The troupe is staging its inaugural show in Silver Meteor Gallery, the tiny Ybor City venue that birthed Jobsite and Hat Trick, and Lab’s producing artistic director, well-known local actor Owen Robertson, has partnered with Stageworks to teach its adult education classes.

Robertson founded Lab because he saw the need for a place where theater people could develop new work “in a lab environment.” Cleave, by Vicki Peterson, is one such work; it’s the story of a self-proclaimed prophet whose wife gives birth on the day the world is predicted to end. Robertson says it spoke to him because it’s about “what happens when we blindly follow somebody.”

Cleave gives its cast plenty to chew on. Newcomer Kayla Bryant is well-cast as a teen with her own mind; McGreevy is chilling as the mad prophet; and best of all is Caitlin Eason as the prophet's pregnant wife, whose transitions from blind obedience to pain to doubt to defiance are well-calibrated and quite moving.

Through April 3. Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 4 p.m., Silver Meteor Gallery, 2213 E. 6th Ave., Tampa. $15. Tickets: 813-902-2245 or email [email protected] 

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