Catherine Butterfield and Tisha Terrasini Banker being interviewed on KPFK about TO THE BONE at Theatre 68.


Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros, NoHo Arts theatre review, 03/10/2023

“To The Bone” is a beautiful play. The characters are fascinating and compelling and all of them are terrible at keeping it together as they pretend to be normal, playing along until the moment is right to get real.

I am at a certain age when there is a little more life to look back on than is ahead of me. That’s just reality, not regret talking. “To The Bone” explores that too. What we were when we were young and in our prime, or rather what we remember that we were, which often is not the same at all.

These particular memories belong to Kelly and Maureen. Sisters close in age, born and bred in Boston working-class neighborhoods. Tough girls, tough women, from tough childhoods. They imagine they were much admired in high school. Hard girls, feared and legendary…it is possible they are overestimating.  When Kelly was 17 she had a baby girl with her then boyfriend who she later married and had a son with and who then sadly drowned at sea, a fisherman caught in a storm.  But their firstborn, the daughter, was put up for adoption and it is this story that is the center of the play.

The daughter, Geneva, named by her wealthy adoptive parents, contacts her birth mother Kelly. At first, Kelly isn’t interested in meeting her, until her son is diagnosed with leukemia and she needs to find a bone marrow donor. Neither she nor her sister or anyone in their extended family is a match. And this is where we meet them all. In the middle of another storm.

Geneva has her own agenda, however. She brings her college roommate Darcy with her, a film major intent on documenting the meeting. The film will serve as her class project and conveniently gives something for Geneva’s adoptive mother to hate. 

Kelly and Geneva are like tigers in a cage, pacing around each other, waiting for the first strike. Kelly, heartbreakingly tough and impulsive, crawls out of her skin at times and is so incredibly portrayed by Tisha Terrasini Banker who makes her brittle and broken and totally believable.

Her sister, Maureen, played brilliantly by the incredible Amanda Weier, tries so desperately to keep the situation from spiraling out of control, knowing all along that it is only a matter of time before it does. 

And then there is the son, Sean. Jack David Sharpe plays Sean. A bolshy petulant young man with a mouth as cutting as his mother’s and a deeply tragic sadness, deeper even than hers. And yet he is hopeful somehow, which is surprising and gentle and nuanced and all down to the wonderful performance by Jack.  He is subtle and strange and profoundly good.

Geneva is more than her spoilt exterior too, although it takes some time to find that out. Alice Kors plays Geneva wonderfully, with an icy edge, her coolness belying her obvious need to be a part of something real.  The sweetness of her roommate Darcy, played by Kacey Mayeda is the calm in this storm, bringing us back to the humor of the situation. Cutting through all the angst. Kacey is particularly excellent at charming the bite out of everyone.

“To The Bone” is a truly excellent play. Funny, suspenseful, gorgeously written and utterly human. The characters ooze charm, all of them so different from each other and yet such a perfect fit.  It’s an outrageous ensemble. Brilliant and unforgettable and heartbreaking.  Go and see this play!!!!!


Theatre 68 Arts Complex

5112 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91601

The Cast

Tisha Terrasini Banker, Alice Kors, Kacey Mayeda, Jack David Sharpe and Amanda Weier.

The Crew

The creative team for “To the Bone” includes scenic designer Jan Munroe, lighting designer Gavan Wyrick, sound designer Marc Antonio Pritchett, costume designer Mylette Nora, prop masters Bruce Dickinson and Ina Shumaker, and scenic painter Stephanie Crothers. The production stage manager is Roella Dellosa.​​