Catastrophe Carnivale: Play at Troy Foundry Theatre
Individually … each impresses for the commitment of the actors, the director's particular contribution to the evening as a whole and the mounting sense of dread that comes from seeing a bunch of Beckett plays in quick succession.
Troy Foundry Theatre has quickly established that it's good at this sort of thing – hitting us hard with bleak, pessimistic, even nihilistic glimpses of an unpleasant world. So far, though, the company also feels like a writing prodigy who keeps turning out similar, and similarly powerful, short stories. At some point soon, you want to see what they can do with a big fat novel.
Fefu and Her Friends at Sarah Lawrence College
One thing Fornés—and Pedro—hoped to encourage with their staging was the idea of unintentional eavesdropping. “You can kind of always hear Julia, and the sounds of the slaps or the gunshot, and when you’re in the living room you can hear the scene outside,” Pedro explained. “It was exciting to me to see audience members hear something and look and be distracted by it, because that was something I was really interested in.”
Each room, as its own enclosed performance space, also encourages an intimate relationship between the players and the audience.
“This play is really Brechtian in nature… [but] I did not want to stage it to be overtly Brechtian, where we’re really isolating the audience, so I think that the intimacy of the space actually goes really well with that,” Pedro said of her approach. “Intimacy and transparency kind of fought each other in how I staged the play, and I think that really worked. And it was hard for the actors too, because there are moments where they’re having these really intimate lovers’ fights that we as an audience really feel and understand, and then a stage manager gets up and pulls you to a different place.”
Buffalo Buffalo at Exquisite Corpse Company
Buffalo Buffalo's director Katie Pedro brings out many voices from these significant others: the rational and the crazy, the strong and the flimsy, the determined and the indecisive.The cast deftly amplifies the unexpected nuances in this story. Adriana Covone’s costumes are a joy to behold, and help with decoding the story. Sonya Plenefisch’s sets make good use of the split-level gallery/theater space and contribute to the feeling of being gently torn apart.