Richard and Jane and Dick and Sally
Baltimore Center Stage
Directed by Taylor Reynolds
Composer / sound designer - Frederick Kennedy
Scenic design - Stephanie Osin Cohen
Lighting design - Reza Behjat
Costume design - Alicia J Austin
"See Richard struggle to keep his family intact. See Jane rebel. See Dick wear Mother’s clothes. See Sally defy Father by learning sign language. See Spot talk. Silly Spot!
Playwright Noah Diaz has drawn on his experience working from 2014 to 2017 as a sign language interpreter in Omaha’s public schools. Pupils who were hard of hearing were taught to speak by mastering the “Dick and Jane” primers, which, Diaz said, can be useful for practice pronouncing consonants and diphthongs.
Though the Dick and Jane books later were criticized as conformist and dull, the series was at one time wildly popular — perhaps because it presented an idealized depiction of white, middle-class suburban life in the mid-20th century.
Diaz’s play knocks that rosy picture helter-skelter."
"Sound Designer/Composer Frederick Kennedy crafts a soundscape that’s rich, demonstrative and also ironic."
"Kennedy’s efforts are especially noticeable as the sound and action move along together, hand in hand, sometimes unsettlingly so, with a rich original score that hits you, when you’re not expecting it, masked in an upbeat, bright sound with a creepy undertone. Hats off to Kennedy for his work."