Footprints at Laetoli Concludes On the Verge Festival

Director Kate Bergstrom Presented a Strong World Premiere

The Santa Barbara Historical Museum temporarily transformed into the hot lands of Tanzania over the weekend for director Kate Bergstrom’s production of Footprints at Laetoli, one of the final shows of the On the Verge theater festival. It was a fitting setting not just for the outdoor atmosphere but also for the air of ancient ambience it lent, a historical setting for a play about the ancestral and amorous histories we carry, the pasts we can’t seem to let go of.

Meredith McMinn wowed as archaeologist Mary Leaky, conveying both wild-eyed courage in the Tanzanian wilds and long-held sorrow. Her performance conveyed a mixture of strength, stubbornness, and sensitivity. McMinn’s was chief among many great performances, including the tempestuous young pair of Allison Lewis Towbes and Josh Jenkins as a youthful Mary and Lewis Leaky; Josaiah Davis as Leaky’s loyal and spiritual digging companion, Joseph; and Joré Aaron as the levelheaded Dr. Kate Joyce. Ever-admirable regional stage veterans Justin Stark and David Holmes were perfect in their roles as an anxious photographer and an intense archaeologist, respectively.

Besides the strong cast, so much of what made Footprints work were the production details, orchestrated by Bergstrom and technical director Lazer Friedman. The set, lights, and sound were transporting and evocative, an achievement in world-making out of simple means. Playwright Darlene Craviotto is fortunate to have found such a solid cast and crew in On the Verge to debut her play, a semi-finalist for the 2011 National Playwrights Conference. It was a strong world premier and great first step for Footprints,, which likely will have legs for years to come. 

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Carpinterians Gather to Protest Border Policy

'Families are the building block of our entire society,' said Carpinteria Mayor Fred Shaw.

Vampire Weekend Plays for 805UndocuFund This Weekend

Will match up to $10,000 in donations for Libbey Bowl concert.

Immigration Raids Chill Santa Barbara County Community

A quiet has settled over Old Town Goleta after at least five people were grabbed by ICE ...

Seasoned Bandit’ Said to Suffer the ‘Lottery Curse’

Tip led to bank robber James Hayes, who'd hit four Santa Barbara County banks, and six others.

FEMA Reveals New Map for Montecito, Carpinteria Valley

Property owners wishing to rebuild must avoid flooding from 100-year storms.