I saw Kill Shelter Red cast at the Theater of Note on Friday, August 25th, The show is double-cast, written by Ashley Rose, a playwright, and MFA recipient from USC, she is a recipient of the Humanitas PLAY LA award. Shaina Rosenthal directs Kill Shelter she has also directed for Ensemble Studio Theater/LA, Kirk Douglas Theater, & Skylight theater company, and other companies, she also has extensive credits producing non-fiction television including The Real L Word one of my favorite reality shows of all time.
The Red cast of Kill Shelter includes Ashley Romans, (Shameless), Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson (Big Sky), Brandon Warfield (Supergirl), and Jack Clevenger. Colleen (Ashley Romans) manages an open admissions, government-funded Kill shelter which means the shelter accepts all animals, when the animals prove unadoptable they are subject to euthanasia. Collen is a single mother and she has an idealistic teenage daughter “Ellie” (Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson) the two of them live in a studio apartment. Collen works long days and her daughter is home alone a lot, She meets an idealistic boy (Jack Clevenger) who wears suits, and they bond over idealistic issues, including Ellie's mother’s Kill Shelter, the two of them constantly harass Collen, who she herself has her own issues with her job, but like many of us she finds herself stuck at her place of employment, she is an animal lover whose duties put her at odds with her instincts.
The play depicts her euthanizing pets which are puppets designed by Emory Royston, The puppet's movements are actually very realistic, and Coleen's internal dialog with the pets brought a tear to my eye a couple of times. The play is full of surprising twists and turns including Collen's relationship with an intern named Brady (Brandon Warfield) and her daughter's pregnancy.
The play is multi-faceted and touches on the complications of human nature, which comprises many traits like good and evil, selfishness, and altruism. The play is funny, sad, tragic, and complicated. It brings forth information on Kill Shelters that I had never thought about before. The Red cast of actors is top-notch, especially Ashely Romans who brought a very private humanity to the table. If you are in the Los Angeles/ Hollywood area I urge you to attend Kill Shelter at the Theater of NOTE OPEN Thursday through Sunday till October 1st, 2023.