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Meet the characters in Small Mouth Sounds


Meet Alicia, she's around thirty-ish, strawberry blonde (sometimes more strawberry, sometimes more blonde).  She is the kind of person who manages to make a lot of noise even when she's "in silence." She has zippers on her clothes and bag. She has wrappers that must be unwrapped. She has bracelets that jangle. She sips loudly. She breathes loudly. She shakes out her hair and scratches her head and adjusts her bra and it's an entire three-act play. It's because she likes being watched.  She was a child beauty pageant star and actor. Most recently, she was in a commercial for a nationwide company where her role was to act surprised and say, "I got it!" Sometimes people recognise her from that, which kind of both hates and kind of loves. These days, Alicia gets her performance fix by doing karaoke alone. She belts out "Someone Like You" with an intensity that would rival Adele's. 


Meet Jan, he's pale and sweet, with a wide-eyed continually curious air about him, like a little sprite or a woodland creature. He is a pastor at a small, Lutheran church, and his church has sent him on a one-year sabbatical to explore religious life around the world. He always wears a small backpack. He does exercises in the morning for his health. Jan likes to be prepared. Jan, who had been working in advertising, went back to school to study religion and philosophy, hoping that it might help him understand why things happen the way they do. It didn't explain much, but it did give him a new community. And sense of purpose, to help others.


Meet Joan, she wears a lot of clothes and jewelry from India. She is a therapist and sex educator in colleges, high schools and in private practice with couples. She likes to focus on pleasure rather than on fear or "don'ts." For example, she asks her teenagers, "Okay, I know you are having sex, now how can we make it more fun?" She meets with her private clients in a sunny office full of framed photos of her dog, Small Fry, and a small ceramic dish of Werthers Originals on her coffee table. She really loves Werthers Originals. She has a roll of them in her pocket right now. It's about pleasure, people. She is also incredibly, mind-bendingly, soul-crushingly angry and she has been since about the age of six when her parents got divorced and her mother told her, "Daddy doesn't love us enough."

Meet Judy, Joan's partner. She works at a magazine as a top editor in the art department-- a few times a year, she finds herself in the same room with Oprah. She's the kind of person who only needs four hours of sleep per night. She gets a lot of email. She wakes up and walks on the treadmill while watching Sky news. She finds that building up a healthy rage in the morning helps her greet the day. 
She likes control. She likes to be in control of her image. Her wardrobe is all big silver jewelry and David Jones in neutral tones, although for this particular weekend she has brought mostly Lululemon. 


Meet Ned, a thirty-nine year-old Jewish guy from Great Neck who works for a non-profit called Earthwatch and has had a severe run of bad luck worse than the worst country western song. Here's what happened. First, Ned, ever the outdoor enthusiast, went rock climbing to try to clear his head and he ended up falling and cracking his skull in eight places. (You can still see the scars. It's why he wears a Guatemalan hat.) He spent two years in the hospital, after which time his identity was stolen, his house burned down due to electrical problems and his wife, Dawn, got a tattoo. 


Meet Rodney, he's mid-thirties, ageless, fit, gorgeous and teaches yoga (in the summer). He is married to a woman named Nadine who also teaches yoga. Rodney and Nadine have had articles about them in various local yoga magazines and are designing a line of vegan bags, wallets and jewelry together made of a substance that looks exactly like real leather. Rodney wears lots of man jewelry but he is pulling it off. 


By Bess Wohl | Director Jo Turner 
Photography by Robert Catto




Posted 11 Apr 2019

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