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Tear it Off

August 15th, 2015 No comments

Tear it OffTear it Off. Get to it. See it. Experience it. Mike Geither hit a homerun with this play about two lonely sisters who pass their time recording their enactments of romance novels that they’re writing. Like the playful games and skits children enact, the two sisters, Beth (Lucy Bredeson-Smith) and Bridget (Lauren B. Smith), create the stories in three dimensional space: sneaking, exploring, eating, paddling canoes, and scaling the terrain of their imaginations. It’s like watching a devised theater piece being created, except the lonely sisters actually know how to tell a story.

It’s conceivable that the two sisters could have gone on like this forever, but for the visitation of Charles, the handyman/plumber (Terrence Cranendonk) who becomes the object of obsession for both sisters, who don’t miss a beat in including him in their story. Tensions rise. Shirts are torn off. Sex is in the air.

Charles has a brother, Tim (Beau Reinker), who quickly comes to the aid of this bodice-ripping plot by filling the role of the sinister brother. A petty crook all his life, Tim quickly complicates things for Charles and the sisters.

I’m not going to spoil the story for those of you reading this by revealing the turns of Geither’s tale, but it is sufficiently entertaining for you to go and watch it yourselves. Geither creates a magnificent landscape of the mind while using a sparse set. Limited props are used effectively: glasses, pitcher, water, tape recorder, a coin, a shirt, a book, a phone. But perhaps most effective is the braids of two stories: one imagined and one real, that entwine to tangle the lives of the people in Geither’s play.

Directed by Karin Randoja (who directed Mike’s hilarious play Living Tall) many years back, and who does a fantastic job keeping this story moving along while letting the fantastic actors make their choices in dynamic splendor.

Well worth the time and money. Get to convergence and Tear it Off. Runs through September 5.

Rehearsal Report 5

February 14th, 2011 No comments

Jarod was out, so the wonderful reports and their “normal” formatting is missing. There were many actors who were out due to prior commitments so three actors showed and did scene work. Initially, Keppler showed before all others and ran monologues with Zoldessy.

This is one of the critical times as Keppler is just at the point where she is getting off-book, which is theater parlance for “she’s memorized it and is not using the script anymore.” This moment is when actors really start to take ownership of the character and the words, more expressive possibilities emerge, and both the actor and the director start finding nuances in the words/script that can be used. There are also shifts within the text between ideas (“beats” in theater and playwright parlance) that require changes in momentum, shifts in energy levels, allow for different directions in blocking and movement, and so on. So, the long and short of it is that Zoldessy and Keppler worked for a good hour on the opening monologue.

I listened and watched, and then puttered around playing with the video mixer which I thought would have the capacity to send two different channels to two different outputs (tvs). It did not. The Edirol V-4 that we’re using only sends one signal to all outputs; you can select different signals, but then that is the only signal being pushed out. This has implications for whether or not we can show two different images on the tvs at the same time. We can do that, but it now is going to be more involved.

After discovering that, I began clearing the cameras and tripods and wires and tvs out of the space, as Parson’s Fire Dance is going to be rehearsing in the same space we’ve been using. This adds time to our setup and prep and tear down, but must be done.

The rest of the time I sat and enjoyed watching Regnier and Metrisin and Keppler having it out as Father, Mother, and Daughter. Regnier’s outbursts are quite convincing and intimidating. Michael is quite a fine actor, and I’ve seen him in numerous concon productions including as Dodge in Buried Child and the Oculist in Jenkin’s Dark Ride.

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