San Diego outdoors: Aida, animal tracks, rugby, SUP with dogs, 1800s Old Town, waterski and wakeboard
Indoors: WWI San Diego, complete history of theater, Christopher Plummer, pickles, Van Gogh-Gaughin, Martina McBride
11:50 a.m., June 28
The event was so unthinkable, a character says in Jane Martin's issue-based drama, "it pulled the plug on all the meaning I had." Ethan opened fire on his high school classmates, killing nine, then himself. Eight years later, whys and wherefores have multiplied. As ghostlike flashbacks reenact the horror, Ethan's father, James, and Thomas Thurman (whose son, Marcus, died that day) meet at a park. "Prisoners in the puzzle of this thing" and desperate to "stop the slide," they confront, threaten, deny, bargain, and bemoan. In the process, Martin examines school shootings from varied perspectives. The script leans toward the didactic (to develop a point, characters say just the right thing at just the right time). But the Mo`olelo Performing Arts production, directed by Seema Sueko, smartly foregrounds the primal consequences. Robert Barry Fleming (who directed Diversonary's hit The Little Dog Laughed) makes Thomas a time bomb that's ticked for eight years. Wonderful work. Though Mike Sears could speed up some deliveries, he plumbs the depths of a father whose absence has been present ever since. Jeremy Lelliott, Sacha Allen, and especially Johnny Ray Gill as Corin (the play's avenger ex machina), provide useful support.