Sweeping adaptation of ‘The Red Tent’ at Mixed Magic

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Theatre Review

By DON FOWLER

“The Red Tent,” New York Times bestseller by Anita Diamant, has been adapted and directed for the stage by Ricardo Pitts-Wiley at Mixed Magic Theatre.

Dinah, a minor character in Genesis, the Old Testament’s first book, is the central character in this sweeping adaptation of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Maureen Baldwin takes on the role of Dinah, the only daughter of Jacob, who also fathered 12 sons and had four wives.

The two-act plays gives us a great deal of information about the characters, centering on Dinah, who both shows and tells the story. There is a bit more telling than showing.

Joyce was more familiar with the biblical history and had an easier time following all of the “begots.”

The Red Tent is the gathering place for the women of Israel, especially during their menstrual cycles and illnesses. The story gives an insight into the religious and sexual practices of the time, also dealing with the treatment of women and how the red tent provides them with their own sanctuary. The cast of a dozen includes the extended families, with many actors playing more than one character, so you have to pay attention.

The accompanying music by Kim Trusty is both ethereal and supportive of the story and mood of the characters.

Director Pitts-Wiley has done a good job of weaving together the multitude of scene changes while giving us a close look at customs and traditions of the time.

“The Red Tent” is at Mixed Magic Theatre, 560 Mineral Spring Ave. in Pawtucket through May 14 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Call 305-7333 for reservations and information.

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