In Becoming a Woman, Rachel Frost tells her personal story of an up-and-coming actor struggling with femininity, family and aging in the highly competitive acting field. Frost's self-deprecating humor is charming. The two-sided conversation she depicts with a nurse at the play's opening is well done. She makes great use of just a few props, setting up a visual dichotomy between her life as a professional actor (with a champagne flute, candle, and prop Oscar statue on one side of the stage) and as a woman/child/mother (a fuzzy pastel cube seat and baby blanket on the other side).
She also attempts significant vulnerability and drama in the show, which encompasses her experiences as an only child of divorced parents, a precocious adolescence in the theater, the loss of her mother to cancer and her decision to return to acting as an adult. Frost's use of and references to clichés throughout the play are abundant. The audience waits for her to transcend cliché with a pivotal moment of storytelling or reaction – but it doesn't come.
Frost successfully embodies and depicts her character in striking several deeply emotional moments. However, her level of emotional engagement isn't parallel with the story. While it is clear that the events she relates have affected her profoundly, it's hard for the audience to connect with her journey. This is the risk of telling one's story when one's story is relatively mainstream. It would be more rewarding to see Frost take on someone else's material with this level of passion.
"Becoming a Woman"
Written/Performed by Rachel Frost
Directed by Erica Silberman
October 22, 2022
The 13th United Solo Festival
October 4- November 20, 2022
410 West 42nd (btw 9th and 10th Avenue)
STEPHANIE EAGAN is a professional writer based in NJ. A fan of every type of live performance imaginable, from taiko drumming to political performance art, she travels the tri-state area and beyond in search of music, art, theater, and excellent coffee.