Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This North Coast Weekend

This is the second and final weekend of The Mothership: Thesis Festival 2013, three plays devised and performed by graduating MFAs at Dell'Arte International School, Thursday through Saturday at 8 in the Carlo. I reviewed the shows as they were on opening night, but they're likely to be different this weekend.  To what I wrote in this week's NC Journal I'd add just a few words of further context.  Some readers may wonder why I seem to be taking two of the shows so seriously (Potato and Because I Love You Most of All.)  It is because these shows are not comedies nor primarily comic.  There are elements that are probably supposed to be darkly funny--and the opening night audience seemed to laugh at almost everything--but in various ways the shows themselves make claims as something more serious.The acrobatic violence in particular seems meant to be more than funny or clownish.

It's true that they both flirt with the ironic or comic aspect of horror and the grotesque, which some audiences (particularly younger ones) may find more interesting (or newer) than I did.  But in any case they didn't work for me as narratives, at least not when I saw them.  Finally, I tried to place this in the academic context in my column, and it may seem churlish to review them in the ordinary way.  But these performances invite the general public, and these students are training to perform before whatever audience pays its money.  They are very good performers.  But the "plays" they put together in a few weeks just weren't worthy of their performance skills.  So the bottom line for me is this: student work is student work.  But a show is a show.

Also completing its run this weekend is Skin Deep at Redwood Curtain, Friday through Sunday at 8.

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