note: entire contents copyright 2009 by Larry Stark
Set Design by Christina Watka
Lighting Design by Emma Schimminge
Costume Design by Elisabetta Polito
Co-Artistic Director Dawn M. Simmons
Stage Manager Ally Tuttle
From time to time bunches of young theater-makers find it necessary to re-invent The Wheel. They may not know Andy Hardy from Andy Rooney, but they take to heart Peter Brooke's "I can take any empty space and call it a stage" they walk across that space and, voila! Theater Happens! They don't have to fix up Uncle Fred's old barn though, because the Boston Playwrights' Theatre has TWO empty spaces eager for use. The crew using one this week-end took their name from the first (1792) Banned-In-Boston Theater, and worked up a series of snippets on the theme of censorship (including a reading of the Constitution's Bill of Rights) that would have been censored in the past (i.e., do you know what "pasties" are?). The antidote to censorship, as always, is wit --- and this half-dozen energetic bodies and minds have it to spare. What they don't have is more time, so get there this week-end --- and if you come real early on Saturday (4 p m) they'll give you a reading of a brand new play --- and It's All FREE!
What kind of quick-sketch material illuminates the idea of censorship these days? Well you can start with a song from "MY War" (1942) on the theme "Loose lips sing ships!" How about a tag-game in which whoever's "it" has to mime something "truly gross" --- and the ultimate turn-off here is not sex but violence. What about a genuine old-fashioned strip-tease? Teens sharing their own nude-shots on the internet? And merely stating those things "Congress shall make No Law abridging" would probably have some people phoning the F.B.I.
Christina Watka's set for the show is about a dozen colorful hula-hoops suspended artistically in the air. Elisabetta Polito's costumes --- when worn --- are tights and leotards and stuff off-the-shelf. Emma Schimminger's lights include several punch-line blackouts. And what makes this show sing is the enthusiasm and energy of the performers and of the co-Artistic Directors of the group, Dawn M. Simmons and A. Nora Long. They fill this "empty space" with joy that spills over into the audience again and again and again.
Go see for yourself!