"You always come back, Dependable You. It was just a matter of time."
In a secluded town in the far north, a mysterious Chamber beneath the sea ice is about to be permanently flooded. Once the main source of revenue for the small adjacent town, it has been abandoned for years after a half-forgotten tragedy. Julian, a woman riding the tides of her mania and depression, has returned home to write a book with her best friend, Hector, about the loss of her twin sister, Lucy, at an early age. But Julian has ulterior motives she's hiding from Hector and her older sister, Catherine -- and it all hinges on the mysterious Chamber beneath the ice.
Characters: 3 female-identifying, 1 male-identifying
Julian: late-20s. Bipolar, currently manic. First Nations.
Catherine: early-30s, Julian's older sister. First Nations.
Hector: late-20s, Julian's best friend. Latinx.
The Ghost: ageless
Time: 110 minutes
Genre: drama, scifi, tragedy, supernatural, experimental
Setting: a Chamber beneath sea ice; a Treehouse
2018 | Elephant Room Productions, Philadelphia
2019 | Wordsmyth Theatre, Houston
Creative. Bone-shaking. Honest.
"This is a remarkable work. Henry bathes raw, visceral moments in a questioning, haunting light -- that seems to fly in from all directions. The pressured speech, internal fuse, grandiosity and their inevitable converse is both beautiful and tragic to witness. Henry's thematic exploration [...] is accessible, elegant, and punch to the gut. [...] Damn. Someone should produce this play.”
— Rachael Carnes, playwright & educator
Beautiful yet frightening.
"I've just been transported to another sphere while reading Jordan Elizabeth Henry's Paradoxysm. Henry's structural strength and verbal energy sustained my presence in her beautiful yet frighteningly crystallized world of mania. Protagonist Julian brilliantly filters the other characters into her arena where her conflicts with truth and reality seem mysteriously sane. I really want to see a production of this play."
"Mystical, mythical, lyrical."
"How apt this play begins with a bedtime story. Henry takes our hand, guides us through a mystical, mythical, lyrical, Orphian-like journey that Sarah Ruhl or Vonnegut would, my guess is, buy a ticket for. Aristotle's token makes both a case and a comeback here and, boy, is it galvanizing to see. Henry again uses Time better than, or at least as well as, Arthur Miller ever did. Henry's greatest act is to stick with action and refrain from exposition. The play's all atmosphere, which builds to intrigue, into plot, then familial cataclysm; like Kubrick. This's a hellava'n original artist."