Thursday, March 30, 2006

Bring on the audience



The last week and 1/2 have been intense.

We've been pulling long hours making sure that the details of the design - lighting, set, props, sound - match and support the specificity of the performance. In creating any piece of theatre, there is always a risk of losing the show during the tech process. It's easy to throw off the rhythm of the show, become discouraged, have such a desire to have an audience that self-doubt can adversely effect performances and the show as a whole.

Thanks to the tenacity of the Out of Hand crew and all involved, we have managed to hold on and make CARTOON really sing the way it needs to.

In adding several of the technical elements into the show, it became clear that certain transitions, jokes, and nuances no longer work - so we attack those late in the night after already spending hours in rehearsal. At this point in the process, many performers are asked to make adjustments in their timing and style with merely a note and no new rehearsal time. Again, this works with the out of Process, because the ensemble members are so tuned into each other, that they can subtly shift the show to make it stronger and stronger.

Today, in the Creative Loafing "See and Do,” the writer describes CARTOON as "two-dimensional (intentionally.)" It is s an interesting - and accurate - description. It's also deceptively simple, this show. In watching CARTOON over and over this week, it struck me how fine the design, the performances, and the script as a whole are - because it appears to be very simple. And yet, the work that goes into this kind of simple performance and design, is much more intense than most of us are used to. On the surface, CARTOON, can appear easy, perhaps trite (although I hesitate to say that because it's quite loaded and well thought out), but something is bubbling up underneath the surface. And the only way to expose it is to keep the performance clean and simple and precise. The whole team of artists works very hard to make it looks so easy.

Unlike a play with a classic dramatic arc - like a Greek Tragedy - where the actors can follow their own journey and feelings, while hoping the audience cares enough to have a cathartic experience with them, CARTOON takes the audience on that emotional ride. It is perhaps more akin to Dance or surprisingly moving Visual Art or some of David Lynch's best film work - while utilizing the tools and vocabulary of the Theater.

This is something worth seeing. Truly.

On that note, opening night is SOLD OUT. Get tix for remaining performances at www.outofhandtheater.com.
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