Fragments of a love lost: The Hilltop Players’ “Bits and Pieces”

Emma Fitzpatrick and Mikaela Green play sisters-in-law mourning the death of Phillip, played by Kyle Collins. (Photo by Allie Card)

The Hilltop Players’ drama “Bits and Pieces” was held in DPAC on Dec. 3, 4 and 5. The production detailed the story of a widow’s journey to find her husband’s donated organs after he passes away from an aneurism. The cast consisted of Kyle Collins, Adam Tackes, Gina Iacoviello, Emma Fitzpatrick, Mikaela Green, Matthew Flory and Jesse Lawlor. Director Deanna Martinez used a minimalist set and cast, allowing or the script to speak for itself.

The production began with Collins as Phillip, speaking to the audience about a broken vase and how its meaning increased after it was broken. Although the husband passed away, he is present throughout in a series of flashbacks which demonstrate the complexities of his marriage to his wife Iris.

Iris, played by Fitzpatrick, is extremely distraught after the loss of her husband and mourns in a unique way. The play has a dark undercurrent, where Iris exchanges sex for the names of all of the people who received her husband’s organs. The doctor, played by Tackles, is disturbingly honest about his sexual desires which only emphasized the depressing tone of the play.

However, there are moments of black comedy which break up the often horrific despair which Iris endures on her own. Each time Iris interacts with one of the recipients of the organs, they are quirky. Green, Flory, and Lawlor portray these recipients ranging from an old woman to an ex-Italian mobster to a Buddhist monk. They brought small moments of relief to balance Collins and Fitzpatrick’s scenes.

The two portrayed the couple throughout their relationship, including their worst fight where Iris smashes a glass on stage, shattering all around her bare feet. Martinez chose to use an actual glass, which stood out as one of the more tear-jerking moments of the performance.

Without an intermission, the show lasted for an hour and a half. However, the breaks between scenes allowed some form of respite from the highly concentrated exchanges between characters. Green and Fitzpatrick worked well off of one another, clearly displaying their disconnection as Iris is finally able to process the death of her husband.

One of the brighter fragments of the show are when Iris finds out that a monk, Lawlor, ate Phillip’s heart as well as conversations that the couple had over the phone. His delivery of the line, “I ate it” alleviated tension building throughout the show and showed Iris’ eventual realization that she needed to move on.

Collins and Fitzpatrick detailed Phillip and Iris’ phone calls to one another in a hilarious fashion, which was one of the happiest moments of the show. Although there were moments where it was unclear what was going on – one example being a scene in which Flory is speaking completely in Italian – the story of one couple’s marriage and love beyond death was deeply touching.

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