push. by Mackenzie Raine Kirkman

"In a room with a mediator, a couple discusses their life, their relationship, the world, their children, and everything else that led to them requesting a divorce with a glowing button in the middle of the table that they can push to force the other to tell them the truth." - Kirkman

All photos taken by Juan Gamero

"[...] Science and/or a whiff of absurdism enter the picture via the Mediator (Pedro Urquia), an official (court-appointed, maybe?) whose job it is to get the couple talking about their marriage so he can submit a report on whether the divorce should be granted. [...] Artistic director Brandon Urrutia, who staged the play, cast it with actors who artfully convey the essence of their characters, often without words. The willowy Lopez, who doubles as costume designer, lets her hand caress her small belly now and then, and in the course of the play we learn that Mom is expecting a baby girl (as is Lopez herself). [...] As Dad, Fernandez is all edgy irritation, at first bouncing one leg as he speaks, yelling instead of calmly speaking, violating the prohibition against vulgar language. Heavily tattooed, radiating a volatile strength, at times his Dad seems dangerous. But as the actor sorts through more tender memories, Fernandez becomes the man who wishes the divorce weren't happening. [...] Though it follows a more familiar stylistic path than most LakehouseRanchDotPNG plays, "push." showcases the company at its best. Kirkman's writing is insightful and, particularly for anyone who has endured the end of a marriage, quite accurate. [...] Under Urrutia's direction, Urquia is exactly as officious as the Mediator should be, Fernandez both scary and vulnerable as Dad, Lopez the quintessence of a Mom ready to shed her biggest "kid." Bravo." - Christine Dolen, Artburst Miami

"[...] Kirkman crafts this simple yet complex story with smart, quick, and authentic dialogue. To the point where it feels like you aren't listening to written words but in fact eavesdropping on a conversation that wasn't meant for anyone outside this private room. They effortlessly overlap conversation that is sometimes hard for even the actors to fully comprehend because of how specific and minutely detailed it all is. [...] Lucy Marie Lopez grabs hold of the language as 'Mom', and makes it her own. As a pregnant mother of two, the character is hoping to pass this evaluation so that they can both move on with their lives. She feels ignored, pushed aside, and can no longer stand on the outside looking in. Lopez brings a tender aspect to this play fraught with yelling and personal attacks – while her easy access to vulnerability comes across as a welcome gift. She leads the play, letting us know that people are made up of multitudes." - Luis Roberto Herrera, South Florida Theater Magazine