Flux Sunday, December 7th


Our post trilogy return to Flux Sunday was marked by stabs at virtuosity, some made, some missed. The first attempt was my own hope of staging the EIGHT scenes on our list all in three hours, an attempt that fell utterly short. But many others succeeded in honoring the patron saint of this Flux Sunday, Franz Liszt.

Member Isaiah Tanenbaum brought his work as a playwright to an exciting new place with the first two scenes of his play, The Transcendental Etudes. A play inspired by a fraud surrounding the nearly impossible to play Liszt composition, The Transcendental Etudes is written in a highly formal stylized poetry that makes even the simplest question and answer an opportunity for flights of fancy. Jane Taylor and Cotton Wright were able to root these soaring words in two deeply felt readings.

On a different wavelength of virtuosity, Aaron Michael Zook’s We are Burning continued it’s unique mash-up of grand myth and crumbs on the cafe table; this scene featured a lengthy monologue for lead lost soul Will, which read like a run across a smooth floor covered in marbles without falling. Another, very different, opportunity for verbal virtuosity.

A comic virtuosity emerged from Rob Ackerman’s Volleygirls; as his deeply funny use of asides to the audience even in the midst of a dive for a ball lends this play tremendous staging opportunities for actors and directors. We just read this scene, but even reading these scenes you feel like diving for something.

A newly revised first scene from the 60’s play aka Ten Black Boxes aka Kingdom of Grain gave director Heather Cohn another opportunity to wrestle with the unique challenges of the simultaneous scenes; and gave David Crommett a chance to mash-up John F Kennedy and Frederico Garcia Lorca.

The second scene from Corey Ann Haydu’s Club brought us into the most grueling virtuosity of all, the busy restaurant. Marnie Schulenburg brought a empathetic goodness to new waitress June as she was assaulted on all sides by Cotton Wright as a nasty customer and nastier waitress, with only David Renwanz’s bartender (and yay for the return of David!) as a source of dubious help.

We also heard the first scene of Jeremy Basescu’s The Syndrome Syndrome, and in a wonderful visit to memory lane, read a newly revised scene from Katherine Burger’s Legends of Batvia, one of the first plays we finished workshopping in 2008.

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