Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Ed Smith

Traumatic events have a way of freezing your mind, body and spirit. Your life goes into hibernation for a long winter. This is what happens to Nancy (Lori Holt) in Bryony Lavery’s Frozen now playing at Marin Theatre in Mill Valley. Nancy’s daughter didn’t come home from school one day – missing. In time, Nancy has to face the worst nightmare of any parent. A child molester and serial killer murdered her daughter.

But unlike most dramas, which emphasizes getting revenge against the perpetrator of such a monstrous act, Frozen focuses on the healing power of forgiveness and the possibilities of spiritual growth through compassion, and it does this with a lot of creativity and just the right amount of comic relief.

Agnetha (Stacy Ross), a forensic psychiatrist, interviews Ralph (Rod Gnapp) when he’s caught. She believes that: “The difference between a crime of evil and a crime of illness is the difference between a sin and a symptom.” Through Agnetha’s questions, the audience sees into the killer’s tortured childhood, and coupled with Gnapp’s subtle acting abilities, the audience understands that Ralph wasn’t born a monster.

When Nancy’s remaining daughter first urges her mother to forgive the man that killed her sister, Nancy can’t see past her own rage: “Forgive that monster? It was too much!” But with time she begins to realize that her daughter’s urgings may be the only way she can free herself from this frozen state and move on.

Directed by Amy Glazer, this powerful uplifting drama brings the warmth of humanity to the sometimes frozen traumatic world that we live in.

For tickets or more information call (415) 388-5208 or visit

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