Nov 07

A lovely story takes flight in Lunchbox Theatre’s ‘Flight Risk’

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

“Nothing ever happens.” That’s the complaint that Hank Dunfield has about his life in the nursing home. Nothing is ever allowed to happen. At least nothing that he likes or wants to happen. It’s a grim reality, but playwright Meg Braem manages to create a lovely little story around Hank and the people who want to take care of him in Lunchbox Theatre’s Flight Risk.

The play tells of Kathleen Shore (Kathryn Kerbes) who runs the nursing home where Hank Dunfield (Christopher Hunt) spends all of his time. Sarah Baker (Kristen Padayas) is a nursing student assigned to watch over Hank to make sure he doesn’t wander off, as he has a tendency to do. At first, Sarah feels like she didn’t sign up for this job, as Hank is surly and unengaged. But their friendship deepens and they start to slowly talk about their lives while they build a model plane together.

It’s a sweet story that is a little slow to open up. Naturally Hank doesn’t really have much to say to Sarah and she doesn’t have much in common with him either. But they slowly find a way to be together and it’s lovely to watch the connection grow between them. Hunt is impatient and sour as Hank and you believe he is every bit as old as Hank is. Kerbes illustrates Kathleen’s conflict of wanting to have all her patients be happy while ensuring everyone is safe and cared for. Padayas is strong as Sarah, striking a balance between private and lonely. The cast has fun with Braem’s witty one liners, especially Hunt’s delivery about nuns in a field of cucumbers.

Derek Paulich’s set design suits the play as pieces move around and flip to transform into a bed or a staff station. Aidan Lytton’s sound design lets the poignant moments in the play seem all the more laden with emotion.

Flight Risk is a moving show about waiting and watching those planes in our lives, and hoping that they will land safely and stay for a while.

Lunchbox Theatre’s Flight Risk runs until November 11. More information is available online.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Laird Arts and Photos


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