‘Sinner’s Laundry’ — Is a Dream Just a Dream?

by Ernest Kearney  —  IAMA Theatre Company’s production, Sinner’s Laundry, at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood, can be summed up simply as Orange is the New No Exit.

Two inmates at a women’s correctional facility find themselves suddenly alone, surrounded by clothing which, had been worn by others but, is now lying empty, strewn around the floor about them.

Is it the Rapture?

Is it The Leftovers?

Did everybody else take off for pizza and forget to invite these two?

Who knows?

The script by playwright John Lavelle takes us many places, up and down and all around, but the fault is it begins nowhere and ends nowhere.  If this was the playwright’s intention, well then congratulations, however from an audience’s point of view, it is somewhat frustrating.

“Dreaming is a lie we don’t know we’re telling ourselves,” Lavelle writes but I’m willing to wager that he hasn’t any idea what either that “lie” or that “dream” is.  I certainly didn’t.

Director Becca Wolff succeeds in keeping the piece moving and in providing some needed mooring, but it is not enough to overcome the faults of the script.

Not that this evening is without reason to recommend it.

As the two prisoners suddenly faced with a reality that consists only of each other, Courtney Sauls and Christine Woods deliver strong and convincing performances that I’m sure will draw in some audience members despite the show’s flaws.

For instance, my lovely wife Marlene thought it was an utterly engaging production and thoroughly enjoyed it, voicing her opinion that I’m just a big grump for not.

She could be right.  She often is.

♦    ♦    ♦

Sinner’s Laundry
October 20 – November 20

Written by John Lavelle

Directed by Becca Wolff

Starring Courtney Sauls and Christine Woods

Remaining Performance Dates:

Friday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. (understudy performance)
Saturday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m.

Lounge Theatre
6201 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90038
(just east of Vine)

For Tickets and Additional Information

Call 323-380-8843

or go to


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Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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