Warrior Class – An Atlanta Theater Fans Review

Atlanta's Alliance Theatre presents Warrior Class

Carrie Walrond Hood in the Alliance Theatre’s production of Warrior Class. Photo by Greg Mooney

Julius Weishan Lee, a promising political figure, stands on the verge of greatness, but one problem lingers: a secret that could be his downfall. So, he has a political consultant work to fix the situation before he makes the leap from state senator to congressman.

Kenneth Lin, whose play “…said, Said” won the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition in 2006, returns to the Alliance with a tightly crafted drama. Warrior Class, now on the Alliance’s Hertz Stage, offers a compelling story with power shifts that will keep you guessing how it will end.

Directed by Eric Ting, the production excels. As Lee’s ex-girlfriend from college Holly, Carrie Walrond Hood gives an enthralling take on the character. There’s an understated quality she brings to the character that makes the performance extremely memorable. Moses Villarama’s Julius is reserved and holds his emotions close to his vest most of the time. His performance isn’t all that memorable, but it isn’t one that is lacking either. The character itself doesn’t allow for much more that what he does.

Alliance Theatre production

Moses Villarama and Clayton Landey in Warrior Class. Photo by Greg Mooney

In the role of Nathan Berkshire (the political consultant), Clayton Landey gives a strong performance, but his interpretation of the character makes him immediately unlikeable. Berkshire comes across as a sleazy used car salesman rather than someone who actually cares. Played differently, this character could make the play even more compelling and the ending much more of a surprise.

The set designed by Mimi Len is fascinating. Sparse for the most part, the concept works well for the production. Consisting of a two turntables in the middle of a stationary platform, it gives a visual of the vortex that is spinning around the characters. The movement, at times, does distract from the dialogue, but not enough to fully ruin the experience.

Warrior Class is full of political intrigue, dirty secrets and ambition. A captivating, well-written play, it plays on the Alliance Theatre’s Hertz stage through November 17, 2013. For tickets and more information, please visit the theatre’s website or our Now Onstage listing. The show’s runtime is approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.

– A. Wesley