Sunday, August 23, 2009

Population 8

photo: Larry Gumpel

Set in a North Dakota town with a population of 8, this play (by Nicholas Gray) is peopled with characters who live simultaneously in isolation from the world and in close association with each other. There is a main story that takes hold of our attention, but the often atmospheric, evocative play is driven more by character than by plot: we're watching the last gasps of a distinctive community of people. The details, such as how the act of changing the city limits sign has become ritualized, are thought-out and credible, and the characters are individuated and just oddball enough to ring true. The production doesn't rise to all of the play's challenges - there has to be a more fluid way to quickly delineate the space and move between the often very brief scenes - but it gets the general job done and doesn't ever blunt what is special about the play. Cast stand-out: Gideon Glick

No comments: