by Jenna Kunselman
Grist From The Mill-1902 is part one of a storytelling trilogy, passionately and eloquently told by Lissa Brennan, inspired by the undesirable lives lead by Southwestern Pennsylvanian steel mill workers during the industrial revolution. The one-woman show has a narrative relative to that of an Irish murder ballad, and explores dark themes such as careless infidelity, unjustifiable murder, and nefarious revenge. Grist From The Mill familiarizes us with the darkness brought upon society during this era by telling a foreboding story that ends in unnecessary tragedy. Like every fable about murder, there are twists, turns, and tables turned. Brennan’s writing flows effortlessly through the power of her endearing voice as the story develops. She builds suspense with short phrases that are repeated throughout the tale acting as innuendos, allowing the audience to speculate what might unfold. Brennan hauntingly reminds us of the corrupt and heinous results of the industrial revolution by ultimately declaring, “The rich pay for progress with their bank accounts. The poor pay with their blood.” We look forward to the return of this story and of Lissa Brennan, who captivated our audience with her simplistic aesthetic and captivating ability to tell a tale.