It’s been a week of Irish ghosts, a week of Irish loss and pain and guilt. It’s been a week of Irish tales that hover under an almost imperceptible mist of Catholic mysteries. It’s been a week of playwright Conor McPherson. First we saw a very fine production of “The Weir” by the new Cocktails and Curtain Calls company. And now Upstream Theatre, our most seriously adventurous small company, has opened McPherson’s “Shining City.”
Every stranger we meet presents us with an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, to emphasize some aspects of our identity above others. In “The Kiss”, a Dutch play by Ger Thijs translated by Paul Evans, the interest resides in what two people reveal by their choices of how to present themselves to each other.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Romantic poem comes to life in this atmospheric and immersive production from Upstream Theater that plunges the audience deep into the Mariner's tale. The play, a spectacular collaboration between Patrick Siler, who adapted the poem, composers and musicians Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult of the band Sleepy Kitty, and actors Jerry Vogel, as the Mariner, and Shanara Gabrielle and Patrick Blindauer as the ensemble, is an electrifying, thoroughly engrossing show.
Some teachers want to inspire children, to build their minds and prepare them for the future. Other teachers want to protect children, to insulate them from the dangers of reality, to nurture and to care for them. In Evelyne de la Chenelière's inspiring play, "Bashir Lazhar," the title character, a substitute teacher, seems to be motivated by both concerns, resulting in a thoroughly compelling, poignantly layered story and character.
My favorite company in town, Phillip Boehm's Upstream Theatre, has opened a classic: Sophocles' "Antigone."
Upstream Theater's poignant production of "Forget Me Not" explores the little known history of non-humanitarian child migration. The story is one of sorrow, regret and pain, and the company does not gloss over this hard truth or the lasting damage this policy inflicted on countless children.
Who hasn't thought: "if I don't get taken care of soon, I am going to lose my mind" while waiting in line at the DMV? As Upstream Theater's production "Diary of a Madman" illustrates, it isn't just the customer who can be driven crazy by bureaucracy.
The world premiere production of “Café Chanson” is an archetypal diamond in the rough: quality material that wants only a bit of polishing to make it into a gem.
Though often included in the Theatre of the Absurd, Jean Genet has long struck me as one of the first post-modern playwrights. In several of his plays, he uses theatre itself – the playing of a role – as a metaphor for the human condition: metatheatre, if you will.
Several area theatre companies are staging works by acclaimed playwrights to illuminate the turbulence of today's political climate. While some author's reference current events to push an agenda or present alternate points of view; others, such as Argentina's Lucia Laragione, weave political overtones within more fanciful contexts to raise awareness of historical events and social injustices.