The sheer size and scope of Sisters! make it a
challenging undertaking for any company. AAPACT casts by the show, mixing
professionals and students, and director Rachel Finley (who also appears in
Sisters!) does a decent job of blending performers of varying abilities....An elegantly dressed Gail Willingham anchors
the play as Sarah Louise Forten, the narrator who does verbal scene-setting and
offers running commentary....The production also blends movement and music
-- a capella renditions of such songs as Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless
Child, Balm in Gilead, Let My People Go, Down by the Riverside, Steal Away -- to
underscore the meaning and mood of the women's stories.
The diffuse Sisters! frequently reveals its
roots as a history lesson designed to remind or educate those watching. But the
piece undeniably moves and connects with AAPACT's audience.
My very first interaction with the cast and crew of Sisters! A Celebration of the Human Spirit, was at one of their rehearsals.
Her direction, however, is so seamless that had I not been looking at her from time to time, I wouldn’t have even known she was directing.
During the rehearsal, her intense gaze was on all the action, looking for perfection that is almost already there.