‘It’s in Our Bones’ — Needs It in the Writing

By Ernest Kearney — With It’s In Our Bones, Nicholas Buda has penned an interesting little drama that he has managed to obscure with the unnecessary intrusion of… well, let’s just call it “more stuff.”

At the core of his short drama are two sisters (Gabriella Gonzalez Biziou and Verity Van Dams) trapped in a cabin confronting each other with their history of antagonistic disregard as outside in the night is heard the baying of wild wolves.

This is a workable concept, in which Buda shows a strong ear for dialogue.

The trouble begins when Buda forgets the two laws of the “elevator play” genre.

1) You don’t let anybody out.

2) You don’t let anybody in.

Buda has conceived a very forthright and very strong initial concept. Two sisters trapped by their bitter internal history, trapped by wild wolves outside.

Buda has extended the time frame of his piece over a series of nights, (this might have been workable) during which he introduces the allure of the wolves being experienced by one of the sisters (Biziou) as well as the beguiling story of a deceased brother. Again, these additional aspects might have been feasible within the context of his play.

It is the intrusion of a third character, Duke (Chase Anondson) where the trouble begins.

Now in the roles of the two sisters, Buda has managed to score a pair of solid actresses, especially in Biziou whose work is exceptional. However, with Anondson the energy established between the two sisters is undercut. Anondson isn’t a strong enough actor —unlike Biziou and Van Dams— to rise above the limitations of Buda’s script. Also, to Anondson’s disadvantage, the role of the “mysterious stranger” reveals Buda’s writing at its weakest.

It is here where Buda’s play, which he also directs, goes off track. We aren’t given an understanding of the deceased brother’s part within the sister’s conflict or why this stranger has shown up so unexpectedly. Suddenly the audience is confused, and confusion always leads to disinterest.

But for the effort and the potential a


Silver Medal (via The TVolution)

It’s In Our Bones

played at Hollywood Fringe Festival 2022


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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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