A woman who's not an artist attends an artist retreat. Allison Johnston directs “Artist Retreat,” a comedic character study and lighthearted satire written by and starring Sara Hennessey. The Maple Farm’s Mindful Women’s Artist Retreat is now in its second year — there are some familiar faces from last year, and some new ones, like our non-artist protagonist. How she ended up here, who knows, but she tries to strong-arm her way into the group dynamic through brute presence and problematic ideas (she brings a bag of multicolor feathers to make headbands). Asked about her main project, she can’t come up with a coherent response, which alienates her from the serious-minded colleagues who can clearly detail their art’s themes, working materials, and motivations. After a solo walk in the woods, she gets lost and tries to muster a connection with nature and some navigation skills (“Which way is North?…Why do I think North is the right way?”) to reunite her with the others. Hennessey is hilarious as the odd woman out, the type to scroll to the end of a guided meditation podcast, or burst into toxic energy (“no one wants us to fucking make anything!”) in a safe, supportive space. -KA.
Directed & Edited by Allison Johnston. Written by & Starring Sara Hennessey. Featuring Hannan Younis, Jackie Pirico, Steph Kaliner, & Dawn Whitwell. Director of Photography: Dan Tahmizian. Sound Design: Matt Beckett. Producer: Jake Rehorst, Sara Hennessey & Allison Johnston.