Artfully Edmonds review: Driftwood Players ‘Self-Composed’ a riveting drama

Wade James Theatre ~ 950 Main Street, Edmonds
Edmonds Driftwood Players

This Saturday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 19 at 2 p.m. the Edmonds Driftwood Players will continue its weekend run of “Self-Composed,” which the theater company describes as an “edgy examination of self-identity and friendship . . . that explores the confusion of adolescence.”

Written by Edmonds native Lyssandra Norton, “Self-Composed” is being produced under Edmonds Driftwood Players’ TIPs (Theater of Intriguing Possibilities) program after winning a spot for the 2013-2014 season. The TIPS program “spotlights local playwrights, topical subjects, and edgier fare,” according to executive producer Carissa Meisner Smit.

Besides the recognition she received from Edmonds Driftwood Players’, Norton received honors for ‘Self-Composed’ in February 2013 from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival as the festival advanced the play into competition for the David Mark Cohen Playwrighting Award. The young Western Washington University student was also a finalist for the Paula Vogel Playwrighting Award.

Intrigued by Norton’s work after reading of her achievements and a sampling of the titles she has written: Death’s Door, Game Over, and Thursday Night, I joined audience members waiting in anticipation for the stage lights to brighten on last night’s performance of ‘Self-Composed’.

Lyssandra Norton’s newest work is a riveting drama that exposes her bravery as well as her talent. The play centers on two high school friends who are mismatched in nearly every aspect except their angst, awkwardness and love of video games.

Luke Mirabal, cast as Tucker, deftly challenges and prods in his attempts to discover the “true” identity of his best friend Charlie, whose mother insists on calling by her given name — Charlotte. Rebecca Foster plays the tragic ‘Charlie’ with skilled nuance. In the opening scene, the two friends take part in banter, laced with profanity, that is so authentic to contemporary youth that one immediately forgets that this is “the stage.” Groping for a place in the world, the two stumble through their relationship while trying to understand the depth of the other’s flaws. Almost immediately one becomes emotionally invested in the outcome of Tucker and Charlie’s lives.

Throughout “Self-Composed,” Mirabal maintains Tucker’s controlled and accepting personae, while Foster’s Charlie insults, rants and finally experiences a full – and convincing – emotional meltdown. The two main actors interpret the challenges that their characters face with professional-level skill.

They are supported by Deborah Jacoby, who makes her Driftwood Players debut as Charlie’s mom, showcasing how comfortable and capable she is on stage. Addy Davies plays Lorian, as appropriately annoying as any little sister should be; Addy gets a star for convincing the audience of her level of confidence — meant to juxtaposition her brother’s clumsy identity crisis. Tim Brandt and Yvonne Velez portray Bradley and Katherine, the parents of Tucker and Lorian.

“Self-Composed” reveals the stark truths regarding life’s passages. Morgan S. Heetbrink directs the cast ably after a short absence from Edmonds Driftwood Players. Her return is welcomed, and celebrated.

Tickets are $14 for this Edmonds Driftwood Players production. Box Office location: 306 Main Street, Suite L101 (lower level of Bank of America.)

For event details, theater location and more information, visit the website.

— By Emily Hill

Emily Hill is an author and long-time resident of Edmonds. She is retired from a career in public information and news media relations. If you would like your event listed, or featured, in Artfully Edmonds, Emily invites you to contact her at

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