It’s clear from the opening scene that they both have blood on their hands, so to speak, and “Dead Certain” gives them an awful amount of explaining to do, about who did what and when and why, or who was where on this night or that. There isn’t much blocking involved in Thomas’ staging -- the characters are stationary for most of the play -- but he keeps the dialogue moving right along.
Over the course of the evening, however, the couple becomes less evenly matched. As Michael gets increasingly inebriated and Elizabeth assumes more control, the drama loses its balance and starts to feel far-fetched. Not surprisingly, under the circumstances, co-star Bryan Brendle (“Mauritius”) poses little threat. While he’s a serviceable actor, he proves to be no equal to the enterprising Berkes.
She makes the show something special. As a psychological thriller, it’s still too talky. And when the talk eventually turns to loftier issues of personal freedom, empowerment and identity, it’s only believable because Berkes sells it with such grace and authority.
Through May 15. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sundays; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday (April 28). $22-$27. ART Station, 5384 Manor Drive in Stone Mountain. 770-469-1105. artstation.org.
Bottom line: Too much talk and not enough action, but Elizabeth Wells Berkes shines.