Flux Sunday, May 31st
What is Flux Sunday?
Well, we had another one of those Flux Sundays where everything feels kind of right - the actors are on and the scripts are good - and there is a kinetic camaraderie that makes the hours sweep by. Playwright Aaron Michael Zook described this heightened state in the last scene of his We Are Burning, that feeling when a struck baseball reaches the top of its arc and is neither rising nor falling; we lived there a little today.
Oh, and a cool breeze was blowing in, messing with the pages, and the view from the 24th floor was showing off for us like it was the first time.
Speaking of, we welcomed Sunday first timers Kira Blaskovich and Mariam Habib to the group, and then launched into reading scenes from five plays: a scene from my Dark Matter, Jeremy Basescu's short play The Intervention, the 4th scene of Corey Ann Haydu's Wife Training, Daren Taylor's new musical, and the aforementioned scene of We Are Burning.
Jason Paradine's irreverent physicist Afruz Sen got us off to a rollicking start with his speech about terra incognita and dark matter (yup). Ken Glickfeld's Jimmy fought with all his considerable charm to drive again in spite of the Doctor's warning, Becky Kelly and Kira (playing a dude) found the edge of two kids starting to push limits, and Nancy Franklin caught the fire of physicist Maxine, balancing her dying daughter, senile father, and charming competitor against her need to discover the next break through.
Wow, this one cooked! A ridiculous farce about an unusual intervention was treated with a deadly (and hilarious) seriousness by Candice Holdorf, Jason, Corey, Isaiah Tanenbaum and Mariam. Following on the strong energy of Dark Matter, The Intervention tossed the afternoon into the firmament. Candice especially found every nuance of ludicrous urgency in Jeremy's funny, funny play.
Corey's disturbingly 'normal' look at a world where women are rigorously judged for marriage on looks, sexual skill, baby ability (and a good deal more squirm-inducing qualities) by a court of male elders took another twist of the knife. Two gentleman judges look through a pile of women to decide which candidates are strong enough to be placed in the first round. The kindness that Luke (Ken again) shows towards the daughter of his own jilted prospect from man years ago makes their casual cruelty even more powerful. These are real people in a world like ours, only twisted a notch to be grotesque. We're looking forward to more of this funny and disturbing world.
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We then leapt into Daren Taylor's musical comedy about the hope for connection in a digitalized world. I'm really excited that Daren (also a talented actor) is bringing in pages, and loved the energy and warmth of his characters: the panicking, inhaler-prone Ron (Isaiah), laid back mystery roomy Nic (Autumn Horne), capable Sam (Cotton Wright), and malevolent force of nature boss Jaimie (Aaron). Will he break his protagonist's heart, or will Ron connect with his dream lover? Only a time of Sundays will tell.
We Are Burning
Sad, sad, sad to be finished with this brutal, metaphysical puzzle of a play about love and destiny. But it was a lovely ending. Haunted by a first perfect brush of the beyond, Will struggles to find anything to compare; and the savage Lucy beats against him, trying to provoke him into a real and lasting love. And this intimate tale unfolds against a bigger backdrop of Prometheus versus the Gods of Zeus, and other mythic figures driven by those Gods to tormented ends. God-struck, these characters at last find a hot kind of peace; but not before a comic tryst in the bathroom becomes a haunting image of Lucy's ability to be inches away from Will's soul, and still unseen. A last great turn as Lucy from Ingrid Nordstrom, with a beautifully still and poignant read of Io by Cotton Wright.
Sometimes you are in the right place, doing the right things, with the right people. Thank you, right people.