BY MIA LEONIN
Special to The Miami Herald
Standing at the sea wall of an unnamed island, three childhood friends reunite after a 20-year hiatus. Once an inseparable trio that turned into a disastrous love triangle, Antia (Sandra García), Martha (Grettel Trujillo) and Santiago (Ariel Texidó) must now face each other as adults and confront the irrevocable actions of their youth.
Written and directed by Teatro en Miami Studio's artistic director Ernesto García, Al horizonte no se llega en una barca de papel (The Horizon Can't Be Reached in a Paper Boat) poses the question: If we can't change the past, what can we hope for from the future? The play is performed in Spanish with English supertitles and runs through April 11 at the company's cozy black box in Little Havana.
Insinuations and old grievances are aired from the outset of this one-act. Initially, the play's high-pitched emotional tenor seems in need of a little directorial restraint. Al horizonte, however, doesn't just coast on the sails of innocence lost. It delivers depth and drama.
In Al horizonte, García, who has shown his talent for everything from psychological drama to farce, reveals a novelist's sensibility. The plot twists are surprising, its revelations well earned, and the ending is spectacularly rich with possibilities.
The play's universality doesn't hinder García from creating a nuanced vision of the often memorialized ocean. In fact, each character uniquely reflects a different aspect of the infinite waves just on the other side of the sea wall.
Sandra García is the acerbic, salty Antia. She travels rocky emotional and moral terrain, and this veteran actress shows her chops. Despite her small stature, García's Antia thunders and roils with oceanic force; yet, paradoxically, she's most engaging in her moments of quiet realism and frank humor.
As the sweet and docile Martha, Trujillo exudes silver screen glamour. Her dramatic eyes are framed by dark tussled hair and a white wide-brimmed hat with netting. Playful, capricious and undulant, Martha embodies the feminine draw of the sea.
Texidó's Santiago aptly represents the horizon -- something desired, but unattainable. His magnetism isn't always as palpable as one would imagine, considering his history with both women, but he's charming and mercurial.
Anniamary Martínez occasionally steps from the shadows, dressed as a young bride in a series of flashbacks that add lyricism and tension to the drama. These brief appearances and a few dreamlike movement sequences are visually stimulating and add dimension to the otherwise static sea wall.
Horizonte is an inquiry into friendship, love and the irreversible actions that mar even the most earnest intentions. It is also a reverent nod toward the unknowable future.
IF YOU GO
What: ''The Horizon Can't Be Reached in a Paper Boat'' by Ernesto García (performed in Spanish with English supertitles)
Where: Teatro en Miami Studio, 2500 SW Eighth St., Little Havana, through April 11
When: 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday
Info: 305-551-7473 or www.teatroenmiami.org