I must admit that theatrical dramas can get intense at times, but that does not mean they are not enjoyable.

Jon Courie’s “To Carry the Child” is powerful in so many ways. Set in Carapace Isle, N.C., this play is vigorously demanding for an audience member. It requires detailed attention and a true passion for acting.

Based on a poem of Steve Smith by the same title, “To Carry the Child” centers on a near dysfunctional family, with parents Bo and Lib and their daughters, Ashley and Sissy.

After romantic turmoil in New York, Ashley comes home to her roots. Battling cancer and struggles in her career as a young artist, Ashley seeks refuge at home. Nevertheless, she never truly finds it. In fact, more challenges appear on her path to recovery. Ashley, who was abandoned by her lesbian lover, goes through a series of unfortunate events with the family. Her father acts as if he does not care about anything. Sissy is pregnant, and Lib is too focused on the upcoming birth of the grandchild. Ultimately, Ashley gains peace in some areas but is defeated by cancer.

Pamela Daly plays Lib, a gorgeous Christine Haeberman is Sissy, Meg Wallace gives an unforgettable performance as Ashley and Cal State Northridge alum Justine Woodford is Diane (Ashley’s lover). Robin Nuyen plays Bo and delivers an above-par performance.

Raven Playhouse is located at 5233 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. For more information, visit collaborativeartistsensemble.com.