note: entire contents copyright 2007 by Larry Stark
Scenic Design Brett Bundock
Lighting Design Greg M. Jutkiewicz
Sound Design by Barlow Adamson
Costume Design by Kathy Maloney
Stage Manager Benjamin Janey
Mark Chun's "Match" is like a string quintet. And an intricate, fascinating puzzle. Five people sit on randomly scattered chairs, and their conversations intertwine. They may be explaining themselves in a therapy group --- though each seems to be in a different one. Part of the puzzle is figuring out which two pairs match up. Part of the fascination is watching five intensely personal stories unfold in quick, often connecting, occasionally opposed bits of monologue. And, ultimately, several telling meanings for the word "match" reveal themselves.
Obviously, it's Greg Jutkiewicz' lights, and Antoine Gagnon's excellent direction that shifts action from speaker to speaker, story to story in a smooth, ever expanding flow. There is love at first sight here, and sudden though expected death (isn't death Always "sudden"?); there's search for bone-marrow matches, attempts to match the plot of a t-v series to the actors' real lives, and as an ultimate metaphor, the hope of matching a string of numbers to the Lottery.
It all happens, of course, right in your lap. The actors may answer unseen, unheard people or talk directly to the audience, or echo the end of someone's speech with a variant of their own. There is no real need to know the character-names --- these actors ARE their characters --- and this is a fascinating play, not a contest. The ways they fit together, or don't, is what you're there to discover.
And it's definitely worth the trip!
I have no idea how Mill 6 Collaborative finds these unexpected plays --- but I hope they never stop!
( a k a larry stark)