Sunday, September 09, 2007

365 Days/365 Plays: Weeks 39-43

Even if the guys would allow me to count this as 38 plays (or even 5, for each week), I wouldn't. I'd sooner count Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind as 30 plays. In any case, what Suzan-Lori Parks has done is write in the stream-of-(un)consciousness format, and then given those futurist plays to any artist willing to take part in her pet project. Nothing I saw at the Public Theater's First Sundays Series was able to stand on its own, but it did highlight some innovative groups and showcase some talented performers. That, in itself, speaks to the importance of this project (or one like it). What I can tell you is that the TADA! Youth Theater has developed some versatile actors; that the Ma-Yi Theater Company, working in Filipino and English, understands how to translate a work, not just in language, but to the stage; and that I'm truly sorry I've never seen anything from The Classic Theater of Harlem before, as between Jaime Robert Carrillo and Lydia Fort, they managed everything from blacksploitation superheroes ("From The Absolutely True Adventures of Afrodite Jackson-Jones) to metafiction ("Bear") to their striking scene of a horde of actors crawling, with meticulous control, across a stage ("A Search for the Meaning of Life"). Like Finnegan's Wake, the entire idea is unruly and hard to encompass -- but individually, there's a pearl of something for everyone.

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