I read another play and I saw a play.
The play I saw was Space//Space at the Ohio, by the company Banana Bag and Bodice. It was weird. In it’s defense (or at least to clarify) it was aware of being weird and possibly driven by the goal of being weird. It was the story of two “bothers” who had been launched into space in a pod and had some stuff to work out.
Questions that were explicitly in dialogue asked but not answered: why were they sent out with vinyl records and a turn table? Why was one of them a girl? Why were they in space? What was the deal with the sandwiches? What happened to earth? What was in the blue tubes? What’s the deal with space noise?
Useless complications in the reality of the play: I have to bring up space noise again, see what would happen is this: there were noises that we were told came from space, and sometimes the noises and the lights and one of the two characters would go crazy, like he/she was being possessed by the noise. There was no explanation, or change, or exploration, or dramatic payoff for this phenomenon, it was just a bit of random weirdness. The annoying thing was that it felt important. There was also no need for them to have been brothers on earth, I don’t even think there was any need for her to have been male on Earth because although they talked at length about the fact of this change they never came to an conclusions about what caused it. Essentially this was the conversation: “why am I like this?” “I don’t know” over and over with different words. Plus it had no bearing on their relationship at the moment of the play.
The whole story really was that he was a man locked for three years in a tiny space with an unconscious woman and she wakes up disoriented and demanding answers. It’s that simple and that classic. It’s a man and a woman and hormones being what they are, what happens. There was a lot of other window dressing but none of it amounted to anything: there were no answers, there where barely theories. this wouldn’t have been a problem if this was a reality that both characters just accepted (I use that trick all the time) but she just kept asking questions and pointing out what we weren’t being told.
The set was cool, the lighting was cool, the sound design was very good, the acting was middle of the road and over burdened with that weird actor/writer gravity. It was basically a decent theatre experience.
I saw some people I barely knew from school and had to say “hi”, that was awkward.
I also read Neil LeBute’s The Shape of Things: it was good but not the kind of thing I kept thinking about after it was over.