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Showing posts from April, 2016

The Effect

Connie and Tristan are volunteers in a four-week residential study of a new anti-depressant, RLU37. The drug, as it happens, contains dopamine, the chemical associated with general good feeling and, specifically, with love. One of the doctors involved calls RLU37 “Viagra for the heart”. Such is the premise of Luce Prebble’s fine play The Effect, at the Barrow Street Theater. Connie and Tristan quickly fall in love. But what is this thing called love? Is it just the effect of the drug? This is the central question of the play, but it gets more complicated. One of the pair, we learn early in the second act, is on a placebo. We meet the couple at the intake interview at the clinic, and words are projected on the set when they take The Stroop Test. In The Stroop Test, participants are presented with words in a variety of colors, one at a time. They’re asked to identify the color, and their associations with the word determine how quickly they respond. It makes for a really cool scene to se…

The Digger: A Subterranean Allegory

The Digger: A Subterranean Allegory
by Inkfish
directed by Michael Kelly
puppetry and set design by Michael Kelly
written by Brian Snapp
The Digger: A Subterranean Allegory is puppet theater from Inkfish, presented by La MaMa. It uses a live actor, marionettes and shadow puppets to show us a hero who goes underground to search for crystals. The backdrop to its puppet set presents a cave, with successive layers behind cut-out centers, and the pre-show sound is the sound of dripping water.
This is an allegory as epic. Our hero meets demons in various forms. The lord of this particular underworld is a sort of ogre with horns. There’s a three-headed monster that our hero slays, a skeleton, a spidery (shadow) creature. There’s a brain, lit from inside, with spinal cord attached. There’s even a sea creature that saves our hero from drowning. What’s more, there are phrases projected on to the set from time to time. The spoken words – it can’t be called dialogue – are sparce, sometimes colloqui…