by Rachel Reiva | 8/15/09 • Projectile Thinking
Projects are due today and everyone’s in a tizzy. Set in a downtown school and presented in the promenade style, audience members will become classmates and travel with and participate in the story .
|the teen fringer is the blog of rachel reiva, one of seven bloggers covering the minnesota fringe festival for the daily planet.|
On Sunday, I saw Stages Theatre Company with Jon Ferguson. I understand that this show sold out every performance. This show was performed at the Downtown Interdistrict School and the class room setting is perfect for the theme of the show.
This play was truly unique and creative. The premise is a class project day. The audience is part of a tour reviewing the class projects. To further involve the audience, three audience members are selected as judges for the project. If the students get an A on their project, they will be sent as the school’s representatives to Washington, D.C. and will get a chance to meet the President. Obviously that is a goal that is more desirable this year than it would have been last year.
This is one of those shows that start out slow, but as the students get more and more crazy in their efforts to win the competition, the audience suddenly finds itself caught up in the enjoyable mania. This play reminded me of several different abstract theater plays that I have read which have a “tour group: as a premise. The great cast of actors deftly showed how this format could be use to their advantage. The energy of the production accelerated as the students became more and more zany with the presentation of the projects. It was further heightened by the plot twist confessions of the characters. The audience gets so skillfully succeed into this madness that it just seemed like this zaniness was normal. It was similar to the effect the movie “King of Hearts” had where the audience starts out with “normal” but when the student/ lunatics take over the school, it seems so natural.
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