Filipino American siblings Edith (played by Sara Porkalob) and Kenny (played by Jose Abaoag) are forced into the adult world after being abandoned by their father after their mother’s passing. Edith is a fierce, powerful, strong-willed 12-year-old who, while old enough to handle a BB-gun and to protect herself and her brother, is still young enough to carry on extended conversations with a stuffed-frog companion.
The only other person in their lives is Benji (Tim Smith-Stewart), Kenny’s nerdy friend who wishes for them to be more than friends. The two teenagers explore what it means to be in a relationship, while growing up in a farm during a time when people make mix tapes for their crushes.
The adult characters are never seen nor heard -- only heard of and talked to on the phone, and they’re usually not very supportive. The three teens don’t find themselves accepted by their own families, so they need to form their own family. The trio does manage to create a home -- until an accident at the end of Act 1, which threatens to pull them apart.
As a Filipino-American teen, I was looking forward to watching a play that was about Filipino American teens, since it happens so rarely. Sadly, there are very few references to Filipino culture, and the characters could be from any ethnicity without affecting the story line. Still, it’s a wonderful and moving story and Seattle Public Theater has Filipino American actors play both the siblings.
Although the set is very basic: a couch, table, phone, and a ledge for the barn, it seems casual and very friendly, like the young family. Playwright A. Rey Pamatmat chose specifically for the three actors to be adults, creating a weird situation of adults pretending to be kids pretending to be adults. Porkalob is the star of the play, and does a great job portraying a young girl who can--as well as shoot things and hit them--take care of herself and be fearless. Abaoag and Smith-Stewart both do a great job portraying teens. Parents, be warned, there are mature sexual themes explored in the play.
All in all, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them is a very touching, and enjoyable coming-of-age story. This show will bring you back to being a kid, and remind you about how scary it is to grow up and be on your own for the very first time.
Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them
Seattle Public Theatre
Through April 21
Recommended for ages 13+