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Archive for September, 2011

Review: In The Next Room or the vibrator play

Posted by art On September - 30 - 2011

Ross McMillan, David Storch, Trish Lindström, Elizabeth Saunders, Melody A. Johnson. Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann

In The Next Room or the vibrator play
By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Richard Rose
Starring Marci T. House, Melody A. Johnson, Trish Lindström, Ross McMillan, Elizabeth Saunders, David Storch, and Jonathan Watton
Run until October 23 @ Tarragon Theatre Mainspace

By Jen Handley

While In the Next Room or the vibrator play might not be one you’ll want to see with anyone whom you’d have to explain the concept of a vibrator to, Tarragon’s (Canadian premiere) production is an extremely enjoyable version of Sarah Ruhl’s Tony and Pulitzer-nominated play, and well worth the viewing and occasionally awkward intermission talk.

The play centres around Dr. and Mrs. Givings, a well-to-do New York couple in the late nineteenth century. The dawn of electricity has had a tremendous effect on their lives—not only are they the proud owners of more than a few electrical lights, but Dr. Givings has entered (my apologies for this and all subsequent puns) the field of electrical massage, the nature of which should be fairly clear from the play’s title, for the treatment of hysteria in his well-to-do female (mostly) patients. The play takes place in their living room and, directly opposite, Dr. Givings’ operating theatre, in which stands a table covered with a lavish throw, and a contraption that looks a lot more like a prototypical dentist’s drill than a sex toy. Nevertheless, it seems to improve the moods of his patients tremendously; and soon his wife finds herself longer content to stay in the parlor. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: from thine eyes

Posted by art On September - 29 - 2011

from thine eyes
Presented by DanceWorks
Co-produced by Native Earth Performing Arts and Signal Theatre
Choreographed and directed by Michael Greyeyes
Written by Yvette Nolan
Movement dramaturgy by Kate Alton
Music composed by Miquelon Rodriguez
Performed by Michael Caldwell, Luke Garwood, Ceinwen Gobert, Sean Ling, Shannon Litzenberger, and Claudia Moore
Ran September 22-24 @ Enwave Theatre

By Tina Chu

Death and dying may be an indefatigably intriguing theme common to art, but as the subject matter for the opening production to DanceWorks’s 2011-2012 Mainstage Series, it comes as something of a surprise.

Thought it’s difficult and obviously sombre subject to approach, from thine eyes presents a collection of four narratives that examine the idea that the unknowable truths of one’s life and of oneself are revealed through the act of dying and that these revelations are the passages into death.

Directed and choreographed by Greyeyes and written by Nolan, the narratives are not only complex thematically, but incredibly dense in detail as stories. It first begins with performer Sean Ling portraying a drug abuser who recalls the experience of himself unleashed as a murderer in a sudden fit of rage. Then, the scene deconstructs into Michael Caldwell’s performance as an abusive man re-living the violent rituals he inflicted upon his partner Ceinwen Gobert, eerily juxtaposed against memories of the recitation of the wedding vows that would begin this traumatic relationship. Next, Luke Garwood and Shannon Litzenberger performs as a couple wrestling to cope with a miscarriage and straddling the line between preserving the memory of their stillborn and being consumed with a past that will never be, a past that could ultimately destroy their relationship. Finally Claudia Moore closes with her depiction of a doctor who, nearing the end of her life begins to be haunted by visions of patients she has lost in her practice, recalling and beginning to understand how their deaths will ease her into her own inevitable end. Read the rest of this entry »

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