Natalie Symons’ Naming True shares the shattering narratives of two damaged outsiders at Urbanite Theatre. They’ve been burned by racism, transphobia, sex abuse and an unhealthy dose of self-destruction. Bad things happen to good people, but that’s not the point.
Symons’ play is a parable of storytelling and personal loyalty. Stories matter, even the sad ones, but only if they’re told. That's the point.
It’s all about the importance of story... Dark tales. But lit up with flashes of rude hilarity... Symons’ gutsy play deals with loss, absence and silence.
Finally, a transgender character is more than the sum of their parts. Between the writing, directing, and acting, there isn't a false note.
Symons handles the main character's gender so skillfully...There is no screed of political correctness here... This play is refreshingly unconcerned with putting a bow on life.
Creative Loafing Tampa
A gripping and intense 80 minutes of top shelf theatre. Natalie Symons has struck theatrical gold with a timely work that stays with the audience long after the proverbial curtain has dropped. Naming True is a triumph of local theater and if there’s any justice, it will quickly fan out to larger markets where it can be further appreciated by larger audiences.
The coming together of these two women, each of whom has been forced to make compromises while living on the fringes of society, provides a rich opportunity to delve into issues of social isolation, inhumanity, forgiveness and personal legacy in this world premiere.
Symons... has an ear for realistic dialogue and the heart to understand intense internal emotion.
There are some powerful themes and messages within this play – in particular, the desire of all humans, whatever their race, sexual orientation or background, to find love, connection and compassion and leave an enduring mark on the world.
Sarasota Herald Tribune
There’s power in Natalie Symons’ play Naming True, now onstage at Urbanite Theatre. Its heartfelt story of two characters coming together in a low-rent Florida motel room displays strong dialogue and emotion.
...kudos must also be shared with Ms. Symons, who created such a strong, delicious part of this pained, powerful woman. Her plays are alive and filled with quirky characters and situations that cannot be predicted... She's an amazing writer who one day will quite likely break through on a bigger scale. And then our local gem will become a treasure for the world to enjoy.
ACT and Theatre22 The Construction Zone 2016 New Works Festival: Official Selection
Palm Beach Dramaworks 2016 Dramaworkshop: Prizewinner
Jeff Norton Dream Grant 2016: Recipient
The Bridge Initiative 2016 Women in Theatre Playwright of the Year Award: Finalist
Ashland New Play Festival 2016: Finalist
University of Nortre Dame and Cornell University Hope and Optimism: Finalist
"A gripping and intense 80 minutes of top shelf theatre."
The Bradenton Times
The podcast recording of NAMING TRUE is now available at Play4Keeps.org!
The Ashland New Plays Festival in Ashland, Oregon has created a new initiative designed to give exposure to talented playwrights, and to give artistic teams at theatres a chance to experience the power of a new play in a more convenient medium: as a podcast. Natalie Symons' original play was chosen to be among the first titles recorded.
"The show is so overwhelmingly powerful..."