Company: Tonya Jone Miller, Portland, OR
Genre: Storytelling / Spoken Word
Venue: 7 - The Cinematheque
(Reviewed at the Toronto Fringe Festival)
There were few dry eyes in the house when the lights came up.
This one-woman play by Tonya Jone Miller is the thoroughly engaging and nail-biting tale of a young woman's journey through love, courage, and heartbreak during the Vietnam War.
The premise comes to Miller honestly - she is retelling the incredible true story of her own American mother, Donna, and the unusual circumstances that lead to her relationship with Miller's Vietnamese father. Donna is a brave and daring young woman whose actions are fueled by a sense of justice and compassion when she finds herself in the middle of a messy war.
Using only two suitcases as props, Donna moves around the world to attend to the various men in her life (husband, brother, boyfriend). But the story focuses on Donna's actions within war zones - both the external, and the internal.
Miller delivers a performance so moving, there were few dry eyes in the house when the lights came up. Her depiction of the horror and joy she finds in an orphanage, for example, and the heartbreaking choices she faces, make for compelling drama.
Given the way the plot frequently moves Donna around in space and time, it can sometimes be difficult to know where you are within the sequence of the story. However, Miller's impressive performance and the gripping story more than make up for this. Threads
is seamless drama.