In the opening of ‘‘The Blameless,” Diana Garcia (Antoinette LaVecchia) is anxiously running around her kitchen and yelling at her daughter, Theresa (Nataysha Rey), for all kinds of things. They scream back and forth contradicting each other, until Theresa runs to her room to be with her friend Howard (Amara James Aja), about whom her parents know little.
The family plans a dinner that night and has invited someone who is somewhat connected to a tragedy that has befallen each of their families. Eventually, Alex (Frank Pando) “husband/dad” appears in the kitchen, makes simple conversation and starts preparing his dish for the meal. Family member Amanda (Liza Colón-Zayas) also scurries around, while Diana continues to be stressed, in this disturbing picture.
When guest Drew Davis (Stephen Barker Turner) arrives, everyone is now slow to speak or finish making dinner. Through Drew’s stilted conversation, it’s soon revealed that a son from both their families was involved in a situation involving a gun that did not end well.
There are terse moments, explanations, kind words, unkind words, and some rude reactions throughout dinner. The need for redemption is evident all the way around. For some of the characters, it’s easier than the others.
‘‘The Blameless,” by Nick Gandiello, can’t be labeled lighthearted or uplifting, but its seriousness reaches the audience through great performances and great direction by Gaye Taylor Upchurch. One definitely leaves The Old Globe Theatre in conversation with others after seeing this world premiere drama.
IF YOU GO: ‘The Blameless,’ runs through March 26, on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage at The Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park, San Diego. Tickets from $29. (619) 234-5623. theoldglobe.org