Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Winter Forum 2010- Notes from Justine

Notes from Justine
Forum Rehearsal 11/15/10

The three plays chosen for this week of shorts are a truly fascinating bunch. While only The Plane Ride is overtly non-realistic none of these plays is merely what it appears on the surface.

What a quirky, challenging piece Melinda Prom has chosen! Written by our own Artistic Associate Karin Diann Williams, The Cleaning Service featuring Suzanna Chmielarz, Maria Concha, Rick J. Koch & Kelsey Ruvolo is a play about communication and sometimes about the lack thereof. Two maids who don’t speak each others’ language do more communicating with gestures and charade-like behavior while working than the occupants of the house they are cleaning can manage at their leisure. Acting however does communicate to us everything we need to know about both pairs (the two maids and the couple in the house they must clean). I hope the subtleties in this thirteen minute play continue to emerge in the next couple of weeks of rehearsal. After my conversation with Melinda I feel sure that they will indeed and be added to with a few subtleties of her own.

The Plane Ride by Diana Stahl, directed by Alex Mallory, featuring Shannon Altner, Andi Bohs & Mark Vashro is about a family about to crash. What will they do? Well really, what can they do? Panic, and talk, and… How will they resolve unspoken frustrations, questions and needs? Yet we ask as an audience, is there really a plane or is it just their dysfunctional lives that are about to crash into the Pacific Ocean? Alex and her team have a lot of choices to make and questions to answer for themselves as they continue to delve deep into the myriad meanings behind the complex dialogue of this play. We as an audience just get to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Mayan Mask by Lynn Snyder, directed by Jen Browne, featuring Victor Albaum, Eliza Huberth, Ashley Rutherford & Michael Wetherbee seems on its surface a realistic piece about a couple and their friends at a crossroads in life. Will Mitch change jobs and throw all their life plans into flux? Will turning thirty really mean giving up Joan’s dreams? But the spotlight also shines on the friendship between the two couples. This “best” friendship is questionable. How can you lie for selfish needs to your closest friends and what about that affair back in college? But what I would like to know is, is there anything real or valuable in this world? Do the big questions matter and are these questions about being fulfilled at work and feeling comfortable where you live or are they about the meaning of friendship and love? Am I even asking the right questions about this play? My interest is totally piqued! Perhaps the Playwright, Actors, Directors and Assistant Directors will let me know on opening night.

Much thanks to Assistant Directors/Stage Managers Alisha Silver and Abigail Strange for all their work! Extra thanks to Abby for holding it together while things are in flux and listening patiently all night.

Week One of the Winter 2010 Writer/Director Forum opens on December 2. Can’t wait!

Justine Lambert
Founding Artistic Director

Looking Glass Theatre

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