THE SOUND INSIDE | New York, Studio 54

One of the many ways to praise a great writer, like Dostoyevsky, is to teach his works. From the voice of a professor to a student, and an actor to an audience, Dostoyevsky’s characters come alive through new voices. The Sound Inside brings to light the influence of the storyteller on the story itself. Reminiscent of the movie Inception, this story thinly veiled by one story and delicately folded into another, The Sound Inside carries narratives from two voices into swirling dreams.

As Mary Louise Parker’s character Bella Baird picks up her pen to write on her legal pad, you can understand that words are the most meaningful things in her life. She stands alone on a dark stage, pondering aloud, looking back on her life. She thinks of the loss of her mother and finds comfort in words. She feels the frost of winter and finds comfort in the cold, dead night. Bella has written a novel with little acclaim, yet one student reveres her. His name is Christopher Dunn. Brooklynite Will Hochman portrays the Yale freshman. Their office hour visits turn into dinners and melding of the minds. However, their story takes an unexpected turn…

When confronted with tragic outcomes, a piece of ourselves might be lost. That piece, to a writer, might be a character. When faced with the potential loss of life due to a doctor’s diagnosis, a writer can create something or someone beautiful… and then end their existence. The writer knows the character may otherwise only be known in their mind. The loss feels like that of an unborn child, fortunately unknown to many. It is a loss that leaves you in shock.

When faced with a strong narrative voice, do you yearn for a sound beyond or the sound inside? What will you listen to when the narrative is hard to hear? This play is a welcome escape from reality. Rooted in depression, this production has an end that leaves you aching… yet somehow better than before. Was it all a dream? A nightmare? Light piano coaxes the audience out of this dream-like state, inviting them to re-engage with reality, to sink back into the present. Still captivated by the story yet somehow returned to exactly where they started, the audience is suddenly more aware of the next 30 seconds.

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