Sound and Light Design by Alex Savitzky
Set Construction Steve Gilbane & Dan Cormier
Light Execution by Alex Savitzky or Linda Sughrue
Producer Jerry Bisantz
Graphic Design by Karla Sorenson
Stage Manager Ann Garvin
The Image Theater is all about what's new. They do Lowell premiers, Massachusetts premiers, New England premiers, world premiers.
And you won't see the show I did last week, if you go down to McDonough Freshman Academy Theatre in Lowell to see "Mill City Minutes" --- a whole different set of seven plays and a dance performance will flood the stage instead. And perhaps backstage they call it "Mill City MiNutes": the plays are all succinct theater snapshots. All the pieces are short; the totality is immense.
Mother...Bernice Liuson Sim
Carol's young, widowed mother has a boy-friend ... twice her age! And they act unashamedly in love In Public! And in IOWA yet! What's a Chinese-American daughter to think?
Well, this little vignette of embarrassment growing into understanding and affection --- with daughter explaining directly to the audience --- was a neat little journey, with an identical "waitress" in three different restaurants.
How can you handle, how live past, the sudden death of a friend? The three here are adolescents, trying to make their own shrine of objects and records, but so overwhelmed by the hugeness of the cemetery (of death itself?) that quarrels break up a network of e-mail interactions.
Steve...James A. Sullivan
George Sauer habitually snaps off these vignettes of literal misunderstandings. Here someone insists he is paid to sit on abandoned beach-blankets, saving the seat for someone looking for food. But is he really a clever con-man trying to steal a temporarily isolated girl? Is he a designated sitter, or just a clever Hitter?
SOKOLOW NOW! Dance Troupe
Dancer: Kirsten McKinney
Dancers: Kirsten McKinney, Courtney Peix, Celsa Cutillo
Dancer: Celsa Cutillo
"Mill City Minutes" has been reaching past the narrow definition of "theater" to include songs, and now dance. These dances --- created originally by Anna Sokolow in 1936 --- were about bodies in motion,and what emotions can be involved. The bodies in every case were trained and controlled, extending a vocabulary of moves to artistic extremes where the merest details are important. The introduction of dance and song back into a theater vocabulary is one thing that makes The Image unique.
Dr. Richard Speck....Ted Englander
Mrs. Brazelton......Lauren Osornio
Nurse Ratched........Jane Benjamin
The story of this presentation is almost as interesting as the little comedy itself. The playwright caught a performance of his skit, and invited the crew to Lowell as part of this year's Minutes.
The situation is pure Graucho Marx: a pill-popping psychiatrist questions an empty-nester abouther son, who thinks and acts as though he's a dog. The story slips more and more into outlandish chaos surprise by surprise --- with everyone taking the most ridiculous twists in stride.
Mrs. Dockery...Donna DeWitt
Young Man........Mark Leahy
Who might be most devastated by a boy's sudden death in an auto mishap --- the boy's mother? Or the guy that drive the car? As a counterpoint to these two viewing the body, and bearing their emotions to one another and to the audience, a lecture on embalming calmly anchors these emotions in reality. On one level, those emotions can never be "embalmed" for good and all.
Young Man...Robert L. Bryan
The young cast here tackled the problem of how a young woman should act so as to attract and fascinate men. Older sister insists girls must "need lessons" in how to play sports --- in this case, how to make a successful break at pool. Younger sister refuses to hide the expertise her dad taught them both --- she gives lessons instead. And, guess what......!
Mrs. McAllister...Andrea Grande
Christopher Mack has been a mainstay singer-dancer at the Turtle Lane Playhouse, but this little play proved that, with no music to hide behind, his raw talent as a young actor shines just as much. He and Andrea Grande turned this clever situation into a commentary on contemporary stereotyping. The lady reluctantly insists her daughter --- living with a lower-class punk but needing custody of her children --- would be happier married to this honest and loving man if the right divorce could be arranged from a vindictive ne'er-do-well. Her short-cut is to hand the young man a pistol and suggest murder. Again, the expected twists, the truth about each character's integrity forces re-assessments. All in all a fascinating look at contemporary mores, this cast turned in outstanding performances in a thoroughly enjoyable evening of theater.
(a k a larry stark)