Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Back in the day, one of the things I did was read original scripts submitted to one of the theater companies I worked with. Without putting too fine a point on it, there isn't a more grim job in all of theater. Sitting down with a work that contains someone's absolute best effort, I used to pray that I could make it to the end. I'd say that I was able to finish about ten percent of the scripts. Out of several hundred, I only directed two.

So, I approach premiere productions of original scripts very cautiously. Last week I was invited to watch the run thrus of The Side Project's next two shows running in rep for February. In both cases, within a matter of minutes my concerns were allayed and I was genuinely surprised to find two accomplished pieces receiving insightful and inspiring productions.

First up is Perfect, by Philip Dawkins and directed by Stephen Cone. It begins much like an after-school special, but quickly becomes complex and then becomes astonishing. There are seven characters, some with more stage time than others, but all fully drawn. Each one of them is a character that any actor would be thrilled to play. I can't discuss it beyond this point because that would be giving too much away, and this is a play you want to see with as little foreknowledge as possible. Cone gets some fine performances from a truly great cast. All I can say is, "See it!"

Next is a coming-of-age story called Slipping by Daniel Talbott and directed by Adam Webster. I'll discuss that and post one of the Archetype publicity stills in my next post.

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