John Jiler’s “Under Big Piney”

The Intiman Theatre of Seattle presented a virtual streaming production of “Under Big Piney” by John Jiler as a benefit for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Jiler, a resident of Seaview, is a winner of both the Richard Rodgers and Kleban Awards for “Avenue X,” which had a production at Off-Broadway’s Playwrights Horizon.

“Under Big Piney” centers on Jacob, a white man from New York who travels down South to North Carolina to appeal for the removal of a confederate statue. While there, he falls in love with Deana, the biracial, conservative mayor of the town.

The play was infinitely watchable and held my interest throughout. The cast consisted of five actors who all turned in terrific performances. The three supporting players: Christa Kimlicko Jones, Russell Jordan and Mike Keller each played more than one role but kept them very separate.

Tim Blake Nelson, who is known as an actor, playwright and director played Jacob; and Gloria Reuben, who is best remembered as Jeanie on the popular television series “ER” played Deana. They both gave wonderful performances and worked well off each other, no easy feat on a Zoom platform. The play was well directed by Corey Atkins.

“Under Big Piney” would be a welcome addition to the New York City theatre scene for a live production.