“Negative Spaces” in Need of More

By Ernest Kearney  —  Melanie Holmes’s Negative Spaces takes us into a strange and unsettling place.  Lily (Holmes) and her longtime boyfriend Adam (Wes McGee) are ready to take their relationship to the next level and begin to plan their wedding.  But with this step the question of children arises and, here, the couple find themselves in conflict.

Adam wants children. Lily is at the age where childbearing brings a host of difficulties and possible heartache. Her hesitancy is enhanced by the memories of her mother’s late pregnancies and the miscarriages that occurred.

“Negative Spaces” Director, Blythe Auffarth

Holmes touches on fears and insecurities that have not received great attention, to the best of my knowledge, on stage or film.  And the sincerity she reveals in the grief of her characters shows an awareness of the suffering they’re undergoing.

But the uniqueness of her choice for subject matter is undercut by a poor opening-structure, which divides—nearly—the entire first-half of her piece into very brief vignettes, which breaks the escalation of the work’s tension and leaves the audience in darkness for far too long.

The structure has the feel of a script that has been forced into a stage piece, which is always a mistake.

bronze ribbon - Fringe Festival

While well-acted by Holmes, McGee and Laura Coover, who provides the final angle for the eventual love triangle, neither Holmes nor Director Blythe Auffarth has done well by the piece, itself, in staging it in this form.

The series of damaging short scenes that open the play could easily be worked into longer scenes, and the length of the piece could, with work, be extended.  As it is, a BRONZE MEDAL.


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Negative Spaces

Is Playing During the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018


The Complex Hollywood
6476 Santa Monica Blvd

The Final Show is: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 7:30pm.

For Complete Show Information, Tickets and Reservations Go To:


What is the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018?
Click HERE and Learn More.

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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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