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THE ARTSEMERSON BLOG

What Did You Think of the Wholehearted?

Thank you for joining us for The Wholehearted! Please take a moment to share your experience of seeing this multifaceted show. 

Wholehearted9

 

 

What moments in the play are resonating after seeing it?

Have you found yourself in your own version of the ring?

How would you describe this play to a friend?

 

Thank you for your thoughts!

6 Comments

  1. Suli is an amazing performer! She embodied the violence, the tenderness, the confusion and the humor of the character so effortlessly. And her training as a boxer was particularly effective. When she was facing away from the area I was sitting in, it was difficult to catch everything she was saying. I wanted more context, too, in understanding the story, so it was a little hard not to be able to hear what were probably key pieces of the story. Sometimes technology can interfere with a performance but I think it was very well used in this performance. I loved the use of music, and I really loved “Whoopass” being sung at the end, taking the place of what could have been the depiction of a very jarring act of violence. I didn’t want to leave thinking Dee was destroyed by what she had to do to Charlie, and singing it out that way gave me the sense that she would survive.

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  2. Lisa Marie GarverApril 21, 2014 at 1:09 am

    What moments in the play are resonating after seeing it?

    Honestly, the two biggest moments in my mind are her first boxing win and the blood scene. Both of them are there I think because of the unique use of visual effects. In the boxing win, the video screens aided in putting us smack dab in a boxing ring. The effects with the video were very powerful and exciting and I felt the impact of her win. She was on top of the world! A great conquerer!! So its kinda crazy that the next scene that stuck with me was the blood scene. It was very smooth and sneaky. One minute she was sending off her lovers letter saying that she was gonna get revenge on her husband, and then she had blood all over her face.. and then she was trying to find her gun and suddenly there is blood all over the bed and all over her. I didn’t know if she had shot him or if she was flashing back to when he shot her. It was kinda cool that all that time, all that blood was there. It was a very interesting way to make it happen. and then when she rolled in it, it was like she was in pain, but yet she was kind of dancing at the same time. And then the video came on talking about “Why didn’t you fight back” and told the whole story from beginning to end while she put on her pants. Like, yea, she just gets up after that. That is heroic in itself. Survival.

    Have you found yourself in your own version of the ring?

    I didn’t actually think about it until today. I was impressed with the actor and the visual effects but I didn’t connect with the story until I reflected on it. My boyfriend was with me and he was so pumped by it that I was a little embarrassed and felt confused at why I didn’t get that reaction. Thinking about it now, I think that it wasn’t that he was so connected, I think he was just really psyched up by the orchestration. He loves action! And, I think that I was thinking so much about MYSELF throughout the play that I was in my head. From her talking about getting out of town and making it big (i’m from a small town) to dealing with tough men who see my spirit and want to challenge it (by breaking it) and even a little bit about the mania of it all (mental illness in the family). I came to Boston with nothing and I have no family here. Every day I feel like I’m in that ring. I haven’t been stabbed or shot at but I was semi-homeless for a while and I work with urban kids that have a lot of struggles of their own. I have to keep “training” or I am sure to get knocked out.

    How would you describe this play to a friend?
    Haha uhmmm yea I would really say it like this….
    “The Wholehearted” is an enigmatic journey through the scrambled mind of one powerful womans post-trauma, nightmarish, daydream. Catapulted from raw storytelling to cinematic epicness through the combination of pure skill of the one-woman lead actor and in-your-face visual effects, “The Wholehearted” will test your sensitivity to dynamics and focus. If you want to know the details, you should really go see it.

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  3. Joan LancourtApril 27, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Suli Holum, the actress that ‘becomes’ Dee offers an hour long ‘moment’ that takes your breath away. It’s a non-stop flow of high octane energy that segues seamlessly through time, characters, mediums and issues. She is clearly in control, even when the events are out of control – capturing and illuminating the core essence of her character as she flings herself up to but NEVER over the edge of parody. At times I was so captivated that I think I forgot to breath. The script moves back and forth in time, and playing in the round meant that sometimes lines were lost, so at times the narrative seemed confusing, but mostly I didn’t really care – watching Suli was totally absorbing. The most memorable one line for me was the question by the TV interviewer who, wide eyed and hungry for more gory details asks archly something to the effect of “Tell us how you fought back.” Dee looks at her with total incomprehension. Packed into that question were a thousand stereotyped assumptions – about women, about physical prowess, about the actual experience of being brutally attacked, about relationships. Puzzled, Dee answers, “I survived.” Wish it was going to be around longer. I would see it again.

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  4. Nicole G. RitchieMay 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Suli Holum and Deborah Stein are amazing! I’m still in awe of Suli’s performance, the set, the incredible energy and creativity. I knew the story going in, but it still shocked me. At times, I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. It was a very intense hour watching Dee’s turbulent life, including various characters, all played by one woman, the extremely talented Suli Holum. There are so many memorable moments, but the scenes that are still sticking with me are the blood scene and the “Whoopass” song. (I think that song needs to be made into a video.) I can’t identify with the tough prizefighting life that Dee lived, because it’s too far from my world, but the show gave me a whole new appreciation of big success and the potential cost to get there. I really believe that you have to see this show more than once. Captivated by Suli’s performance, I often missed the video hanging above her head. I also think that a theater in the round provides so many different angles. Regardless of what you see or what you miss, you will come away feeling that Dee has conquered, which brings hope. “The Wholehearted” is an action-packed, intense hour, one woman show that you don’t want to miss.

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  5. I have read and listened (Audio books) to the first two journals and diaries of Susan Sontag.
    I brought my 14 year old twin daughters to the performance.
    The media effects were very interesting. Especially liked the large screen adult Sontag who was the observer/critic.
    Ending was a bit obscure.
    Overall, a meaningful effort and it should be extended and lengthened over time. Maybe a bit like the Vagina Monologues. MOre perspectives would be intriguing.

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  6. The world of Dee Crosby is instantly believable. As Suli cycles through characters, this “world” is already under your skin, allowing layer after layer to amplify the story foundation, like adding color fills and shade to a tattoo. The world of Dee is REAL, right from the start and the story is therefore able to unfold round after round, each flurry/layer of story builds like a combination of punches. Those combinations are both dealt and sustained, and such is life. Salute to Holum and Stein for packing this much story into an hour. intense and smart as hell. When i describe the performance to friends i make sure to mention the integration of time based media, video and phenomenal music production and performance(s). The show is the real deal. Only a gifted few could pull it off. BRAVO! can’t wait to see whats next.

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