Off-Off-Broadway Theater Review: KIND SOULS (Libra Theater Company at Theatre 54)

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by Dmitry Zvonkov on February 2, 2015

in Theater-New York


Tom Diggs’s allegorical fable Kind Souls attempts to examine how two loving individuals behave when forced to choose between losing their lives and losing their souls. With their country engaged in armed conflict, Tara (Lindsey Kyler) and Oliver (John Clarence Stewart) are unemployed and nearly starving, living in a shack in the forest, when Oliver gets an unspecified government job. He tells his beloved that he is a cleaner, but the truth, we discover, is sinister. On Jason Sherwood’s rustic set, the show takes 45 minutes to reveal this truth to us, though we pretty much know what it is early on.

John Stewart and Lindsey Kyler in KIND SOULS

In addition, everything this 90-minute production has to offer can be said in under an hour. Except for its solid design elements, Libra Theatre’s production is clunky in every way. The stylized, at times poetic, dialogue has some brilliant nuggets, such as when Oliver says: “I only learned my lesson after I failed the test twice.” But too much of it is needlessly baroque and unnecessarily opaque. Director Alexander Greenfield has his performers shouting their lines at the oddest moments, which is jarring and inorganic; performances suffer as a result.

Lindsey Kyler and John Stewart in KIND SOULS

And yet, despite all its flaws, there is so much positive energy here, such a powerful desire to create something vital, so much sincerity poured into every moment, that it’s difficult not to appreciate and feel affection for this creation. Kind Souls is far from perfect, but it is alive, and has the weight of the necessary.

John Stewart and Lindsey Kyler in KIND SOULS.

Kind Souls
Libra Theater Company
Theatre 54 at Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th St
ends on February 1, 2015
for more info, call 347-352-4549 or visit

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