Raw and human

Where We’re Born, 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m., Sunday. $15-$20. KOLT Run Creations at the Ooley Theater, 2007 28th Street; (916) 454-1500; www.koltruncreations.com. Through February 26.

Lucy Thurber’s Where We’re Born, which features raw social issues and even a mature-audience warning, is a powerful drama full of human emotion and experience.

KOLT Run Creations produces this impressive telling of the play and Lisa Thew directs. The plot seems less important than the connections and emotions that reverberate almost every minute. Lilly (Jessicah Neufeld) comes back to her Podunk Massachusetts hometown and realizes she no longer belongs. After troubles arise with her cousin and quasi father figure, Tony (Brian Harrower), and his girlfriend, Franky (Kelley Ogden), Lilly is put into strange and difficult circumstances.

The small cast all sink wonderfully into their roles, especially parts the audience loves to hate. John Young and David Chernyavsky play Tony and Franky’s friends, Vin and Drew, respectively. Both are great foils to the other characters and balance out the stage’s many conflicts.

Ogden is completely set into Franky. She sucks the audience in with her ability to translate the character’s breadth of feelings. Neufeld plays Lilly well and makes the audience feel every look, shrug and smile. Brian Harrower appears outside of Big Idea Theatre and plays a character that at times makes Stanley Kowalski look tame.

The set is beautifully designed, courtesy of Nastassya Ferns and Brian Rife, with a functional and fluid use of the small space.

The play is not everyday theater. The events that unfold onstage and off are sure to make most audience members a little uncomfortable, but it is the relationships and characters that make the journey worthwhile. Expect raw human need and denial, both of which usually come with a fair amount of sex and violence.