Wait, did we just see the same thing? Art that’s subject to interpretation

Posted in theater by Diane on March 29, 2010

You don't wanna know what's going on inside

I’m all for ambiguity in art, but sometimes I get startled by how differently people interpret the same movie or play. Last Saturday, for example, my friend and I saw “Forgiveness” at the tiny Black Dahlia Theatre on Pico. The play was very good; we both agreed about that. But what, exactly, was going on between the father and step-daughter?

Was history repeating itself or were we flashing back? Both? The similarities between daughter and step-daughter added to the murkiness — and the foreboding.

Does it matter which way you interpret those final scenes? Prolly not. Either way, you worry about young Jillian in that house; the actual act is secondary to the fallout that has already occurred or may repeat itself. David Schulner grapples with religion, addictions and forgiveness; he is less interested in sin itself than the struggle to make peace with human frailties.