Thoughtful and illuminating, “Via Dolorosa” by highly respected British playwright David Hare, is one man’s journey to understand the underlying reasons for the centuries-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. It is both travelogue and monologue, chronicling the author's trip to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Originally performed by the writer himself, this Southern California premiere features veteran actor David Bryan Jackson playing the part of The Author. The play is in essence a series of reenactments of interviews with people from the area such as important political figures, historians, poets and Jewish West Bank settlers. Characters, as brought to life by Jackson, are unapologetically opinionated and complex issues are laid out with remarkable clarity. Hare allows everyone their own point of view with nonjudgmental objectivity. But while the play has intelligence and keen observations on the human condition, it generally lacks the usual theater elements of dramatic build and literary artistry. Take in some Shakespeare for that.