By Ernest Kearney  —  Still is a stylishly staged deconstruction of a murder mystery, involving three high school students, that shifts between the police investigation immediately after the crime to a random meeting between two of the, centrally involved, figures years later.

“Still” director, Olivia Fischer (HFF18)

Chloe (Jazzara Jaslyn) is enclosed in a translucent coffin of water throughout the piece. We learn early on that she was focused on her work with the swimming team, and had a “special relationship” with water.

“The water,” she confesses, “holds me like the earth never could.”

It is also water, that cleanses, that symbolizes innocence, which foreshadows the truth between the murder at the center of the conflict.

A random encounter between Julia (Laura Lee Mostert), the girl friend of the murder victim, and Aaron (Nelson Menell), who carries the guilt for not protecting Chloe from the assault that leads to the crime, triggers repressed passions that begin to peel away the facts of the case until the truth is revealed.

Platinum MedalDirected by Olivia Fischer, and written by her in association with the cast, Still, (which I believe is the Fringe’s first South African entry) is stylish, intelligent, superbly acted by a strong cast and beautifully staged.

That all adds up to a PLATINUM MEDAL.


♦      ♦      ♦

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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 and Follow him on Facebook.

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