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Mike Ostroski in Groundwork by Ostroski and Derek Davidson (photo uncredited)
Mike Ostroski in Groundwork by Ostroski and Derek Davidson (photo uncredited)


Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre
Reviewed by Vanessa Cate
Through June 25

Paul (Mike Ostroski) is looking for God. In the midst of his overly hectic schedule (he’s one of that rare breed of regularly working actors), inspiration comes to him as he attempts to ward off impending existential dread. He tells Wade, his fellow actor and self-proclaimed mystic, of his idea. And just like that, the two of them commit to growing a garden — which happens to be something neither of them has any idea how to do.

So much more than an inspirational tale, Groundwork (written by Ostroski and Derek Davidson) turns out to be a snapshot of one depressed man warding off his own personal apocalypse, while trying to make amends for how he mistreated his lost love.

Directed by Davidson with punch and potency, this story of gardening and despair is furiously engaging. While perhaps slightly too A.D.D. at times, the delivery, a combination of slam poetry and conversation, opens up worlds to an unsuspecting audience. This is a sensory experience that utilizes visualization and the effectiveness of scent. Although the narrative sometimes meanders and the ending is abrupt, Groundwork plants the seed of ideas worth harvesting. 


Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre, 5636 Melrose Ave. Hollywood; Running time: 65 minutes with no intermission.