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Mountain at Mount Vernon United Methodist Church

Remaining Performances:

Friday, July 20, 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, 9 p.m. Friday, July 27, 10 p.m. Saturday, July 28, 12 p.m.

They say: “Stranded after their cruise ship goes down in flames, four strangers consider the exciting possibilities of being presumed dead. Nautical hilarity ensues.”

Lindsey’s Take: The complexity of modern society has brought about the existential crisis, the mid-life crisis, the quarter-life crisis, and the profession of psychology, manifesting itself in people’s daily lives and threatening to wreck our fundamental relationships. The crew of characters in Rolling By find themselves at just such a turning point, trapped in a lifeboat with strangers and questioning the value of their former lives.

They debate the importance of their obligations, deal with the loss of friends and family, and bicker over the crushing weight of their past responsibilities. Before their ill-fated cruise, they may have been drowning in debt or health problems, or stress” but life has now become sink-or-swim and they must take control of their destiny. Oh, and there are some nautical jokes tossed in, just like a life preserver, to keep things afloat.

The humanness of this production is in how ubiquitous the questions with which its characters wrangle have become in modern society. But, like humanity, Rolling By too is flawed. A single hour is not sufficient to engage the depth of the struggle, or the height of the fear, that most people would encounter if truly placed in such a situation. Instead, it comes closer to the conversations individuals might have were they merely imagining themselves to be trapped in a lifeboat, discussing what it might be like to escape the lives they feel closing in around them. The highs and lows of life are simply too varied, too unpredictable, to truthfully portray much more than the discussion of such a discussion.

But the show remains true to its tagline—-four people, a lifeboat, a sea of possibility—-as the actors take a chance in exploring an uncommon situation and drawing on relatable fears in their interactions with one another in their dire reality. No man is an island, indeed.

See It If: Your iPod keeps playing either that John Mayer song about a quarter-life crisis or “I’m on a Boat.”

Skip It If: You’re prone to seasickness.