‘The Border’… Is There Room on the Shelf Next to ‘Cadenza’?

By Ernest Kearney – I want every show I see to leave me gaping in wide-mouth wonderment.  I want to dash from the theater and run from stranger to stranger shaking them by the shoulders and begging them, “Please, please, see this show!  It’ll fix your marriage, it’ll cure your ED. It’s that amazing!”

That doesn’t happen much.  And it pains me that it doesn’t.

But nothing, and I do mean nothing, is more agonizing than when I am forced to compose a critical post mortem of a show that my heart was secretly rooting for.

I was rooting for The Border, described as “a Russian anti-war self-confession,” a “dramatic poem,” supported by the RimoVision Group and “Russian America for Democracy in Russia.”

To the annoyance of friends who are threatening to boot me out of the “Liberal Club” of America, I support the policies of the Biden Administration in the Ukraine.  I’ve made a point of seeking out and reviewing plays concerned with Putin’s suppression of the Russian people and his war against the Ukrainians, and I’ve written about the Worldwide Ukrainian Play Reading Project[1].  I sought out The Border early in my Fringe, in order that I could begin spreading the word about what a wonderful show it was.

Except, it wasn’t.

In truth, The Border was as far from a ‘wonderful show” as can be imagined.

The Border had one director, one assistant director/stage manager, one translator, one producer, two production assistants, one designer, one costume designer, one set designer, one composer, one dialect coach, one SM manager, one actor, one playwright, two PR/public relations managers and from what I saw absolutely no one who knew what the hell they were doing.

An online bio about playwright Sergei Davydov describes him as an author of “over 30 plays presented on stages throughout the world,” whose poems and novels have been translated into “many languages” including Japanese. 

There were no other online resumes available from anyone else involved in this production, which would explain the hour-long train wreck I was forced to endure.

[1] Hosted in Los Angeles by City Garage in Santa Monica



The Border

Playing During the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2024



916 N. Formosa Ave


Thursday June 13 2024, 7:00 PM | 1hr

Sunday June 30 2024, 7:30 PM | 1hr


Ernest Kearney - author

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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