Flux Sunday, January 27th
FLEX IS FLUXIBLE
Er…strike that, reverse it.
But as our mission statement plainly states, we do value the multi-faceted theatre artist. And that flexibility was plainly on display on this particular Sunday (as it is here to the left as Cotton Wright stretches skyward as Thalia in Rue).
Short on our regular dose of directors, Flux membership stepped up to direct our five scenes. The result was one of the smoothest run Flux Sunday’s I can remember.
PUSHING CERTAIN ENVELOPES, OR, PINTER ME THIS
Jeremy Basescu’s A Wonderful Wife returned, directed in a long scene by Flux Associate (and frequent blogger) Isaiah Tanenbaum. This tea and saucer Pinter-esque exploration of a family politely falling apart as the father takes a mistress came to a boil; and that boil provided several Flux Sunday veterans a chance to push their work in places I’d not yet seen it go. David Douglas Smith and Jane Taylor kept up a smooth veneer only to shatter it suddenly; and Brian Pracht, as their stunned son, battled to make sense of the ruins of his family in his most daring work yet. Isaiah’s work as a director kept the action moving, with Candice Holdorf’s mistress the still center of poison in the center of the family circling around her.
DIRECTING AS A WHOLE BODY EXPERIENCE
Directing Adam Szymkowicz’s Open Hearts was Christina Shipp, and it was a joy to watch her unique style of directing again. Some directors work clinically, by diagnosing the needs, objectives and obstacles and laying them before the actors as the cure; Christina, on the other hand, incarnates those needs, objectives and obstacles by living them in front of you; the urgency and stakes are palpably communicated like one guitar ringing a chord into another. And it paid off, with a passionately crazed take on this nearly penultimate scene.
Also exciting was Katherine Burger’s Way Deep, a lovely play of hers she is transforming into a musical, and Rob Ackerman’s Calculating Route 5, a hilarious short on a GPS system navigating a tricky new relationship. And we came once scene closer to completing Erin Browne’s Trying, as Cotton lovingly directed the dinner table scene where Lena’s choice between her pregnant sister and her passionate new girlfriend becomes ever more starkly clear.
Four Flux Members directing and five great scenes, and it ran so smoothly; like the little clam before the storm of the casting process descended upon us. But more on that anon.