Sunday, September 12, 2010

Oh, The Humanity, Our Shoes Are Red / Performance Lab @ Portland Playhouse

Writer William Eno
Directed By Devon Allen

cast: Tim Stapleton, Casey Pfeifer, Matthew Dibiasio, Jennifer Rowe Hadley Boyd, Hans Eleveld

Sept 2010

sez says: I sure like William Eno, we attended a reading of his play GNIT, at JAW last summer--it was wonderful.  So we jumped at the opportunity to see another of his works, this being the "Portland Premier" of OH, THE HUMANITY, which is is made up of five short piece.  This is not a standard narrative/story. Rather it is 5 separate vignettes--tied together loosely by a concern with the "Majesty" (Eno's word) and complexity of life and by the fact that all life is ephemeral but even-so it provides a kaleidoscope of action, emotion, yearnings, awe and sorrow--any and all of which can be altered by the way it is viewed.
For instance, one scene is of a woman, representing an airline, taking to the friends and family of an airplane that has just crashed , and from which there are no survivors.  She has no standard rap to give (which she reminds us is a good thing--because seldom do planes fall from the sky) but as she gropes for something worthwhile--or meaningful to say--she reminds us that we are all on our way down. She hopes the passengers never realized they were falling as she stumbles around imagining their last minutes of life and trying to find words, any words, to make meaning of life, anyone's life.
In another scene a photographer and his assistance bring the audience into the show by making the audience the subject of a photograph.  They talk about another group photo, taken of soldiers during Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Rider Adventures in Cuba. They tell the audience that they are seeking to find our souls in the photo and suggest we adjust our gaze to seek our highest moral selves, to look concerned for the world, to demonstrate an expression of compassion..and so these elements of our humanity can be caught on film.
The acting was fine, not exceptional, but solid.
I'm looking forward to seeing more of Eno's work.

No comments:

Post a Comment