Heart by Jade Anouka is a heartfelt and touching story of love, courage and defeating one's inner "beast."
Anouka begins her story of what appears to be a picture-perfect marriage. A swing drops down; kudos to the set designer Arnulfo Maldonado for the beautifully ephemeral set design.
She begins telling her story of her marriage and the blissful life she led until it all spiraled down. In the next few moments, their relationship disintegrates before our eyes. The dream she once held close to her heart is undone. Anouka is a seasoned performer, portraying the rawness and pain left behind skillfully. The audience empathizes. Some can even relate. She is now left to rebuild her life, her soul--her heart.
The next phase in her life includes dating and meeting new people but not committing to anyone in particular. She learns about herself and the demons that are hidden deep inside. This part of her life is about starting to beat the darkness. Anouka's storytelling is engaging and compelling. Her journey is one that many have undergone, yet this is her story and the magic lies in how she chooses to navigate the beautiful yet, at times, lumpy roads of life.
The last part of the show circles back to finding love--true love. A love so inspiring and engulfing she's completely smitten. This love leads to courage, revelations and confrontations.
This love is so powerful she must be honest with herself. This new love is with a woman. She's never been in a relationship with a woman. This world is new. She must choose between being brave or her love.
The mood and tone of Heart are further detailed and highlighted with the excellent lighting design by Jen Schriever and the simple and airy set design by Arnulfo Maldonado.
Heart is a show of hope and belief. Anouka allows the audience to dream of love, happiness and triumph over the "beast." Heart tells of the wonderful imperfections we all carry, of the mistakes humans often make, yet Anouka throws us a lifeline and comforts us-- eventually, it will be okay--and sometimes even absolutely amazing!
Written and Performed by Jade Anouka
Directed by Ola Ince
August 14, 2022
Minetta Lane Theatre (18 Minetta Lane (between MacDougal & 6th Avenue)
Yani Perez, M.F.A, is a poet, playwright, translator, and educator. Her plays have been presented in various theaters in the United States such as La Mama and Yale University as well as internationally in Bogotá, Colombia. She works at IATI Theater, one of the oldest Latinx theaters in NYC. She is currently working on translations of Latinx artists in hopes of introducing them to English-speaking audiences.