Review: The Repertory Theater of St. Louis Mixes Sci-Fi with Societal Evolution in “The Gradient” | Entertainment
Tess’s initial joy over the positive contributions from her new business soon begins to fade when she sees signs of Natalia’s indifference to some of the issues Tess raises. There is also some evidence that Natalia may be more interested in the results of The Gradient than in the final reform of her clients.
When Tess befriends a coworker named Louis, he tells her how various departments in the company work for the common good and notes how much the employees enjoy socializing with each other at parties and so on. , although dating is frowned upon.
As Tess maintains control over her interviews with the men sent to her for questioning, a self-assured guy named Jackson poses serious challenges. The amiable Jackson wants to know more about Tess’ personal life, despite his remonstrances.
Still, Tess begins to doubt how much Jackson really is being rehabilitated and suspects that her answers to her questions have more to do with getting closer to Tess than real contrition on her part. When Tess informs Natalia of her suspicions about Jackson, she is even more surprised by Natalia’s response.
What exactly is happening at the Gradient? Is it an organization whose adherence to strict scientific principles paves the way for legitimate advancements that could benefit workplaces in America, as well as society in general? Or is it business as usual in a different form? Is this a brave new world, or is it a place where the new boss is the same as the old boss?
Other Info: Del Rosso’s one-act work is well constructed from its fun start to its ominous conclusion, showing just how skilled the playwright is at her craft. At the same time, director Powell brings together the considerable talents of her five-player set to breathe vibrant life into the plot and character development of Del Rosso.