Denver, Colorado 2021-10-14 10:32:57 –
“Elephant” in the benchmark
“Mama.” This is the first word skillfully performed at the world premiere of “Elephant” at the Benchmark Theater. In fact, “spoken” is inaccurate. “Screamed” is similar to that. “Mama !!!” Actor Nnamdi K. Nwankwo shouts, hears a siren, and raises his hand to plead as the blue and red lights flash on the white walls of the set. And it’s no coincidence that the same word was one of the last to be spoken by George Floyd, who was dying under the knees of police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020.
At one visceral moment, this echo felt me exploitative, where it made us sad, angry, and hurt again. However, the film, directed by the company’s new artistic director, Neil Trurio, suffers from that sharp pain.
Actors Abner Genece and Candice Joyce work with Trurio to treat black men as curiosity, freaks, and monsters, leveraging Sir Frederick Tribe’s 1923 book Elephant Man and Other Recollections. I devised a work to tackle racial discrimination. .. The treatment extends to other people who are marginalized or have disabilities.
Merrick of Nwankwo was accustomed to the police when Treves found him. He is bandaged. Poor doctors provide Merrick’s shelter in the hospital wing. But is he a guest or a prisoner? Dan O’Neill does a good job of dialing up Trebes’ portrayal to be completely compassionate. It is he who explains this man to the press, his scientist colleagues, and the world — all in the most paternal way.
Of course, Treves-type surveys require patrons to submit a bill. Enter Kendall, played by Courtney Esser, in both the fascinating and suspected fuss. It’s a lot of fun for Kendal to put Trebes in his place. It’s more fun to be incredible in the situation of the captives near him when she assumes intimacy with Merrick.
There is a moment of Kendal — by George! — Seems to be aware of the systematic inequality of the situation. But is her moment of learning motivation and tenderness a gesture of empathy, or is it just a precursor to an unwanted kiss? That concern rests on most of the Kendall-Merrick interaction.
A few years ago, the Phamaly Theater Company staged a very good piece of Bernard Pomerans drama as a way to investigate disability and medical institutions. In that production, the female character was treated more gently and gently. But this is not the play. This work incorporates many racing American styles that even seemingly allies do not yet know about themselves. So if the last moment of Kendal was stabbed on stage, that would be the case.
Nwankwo’s voice echoes beautifully. His attitude is impressive, but he is also good at embodying the vulnerabilities of his situation. The actor informs the audience without a wink that he is aware of the eccentric yet normalized demands of Trebes and Kendall.
The lending line from “The Elephant Man” (both theater and film) is still ringing. It still runs through bushes of arrogance and ignorance. “I’m not an animal!” Is scribbled on the wall of the hospital room.
If the conversation between Merrick’s Trebes and Kendall seems overly patient, but doctrine, his desire to explain himself and his history appears to be stunned for his audience. Then yeah.
Truglio and its company delivered shows that were visually appealing and sometimes deliberately offensive. In 2019, the director and Benchmark produced a compelling version of George Orwell’s 1984. In the “elephant”, red is the color of the trauma. This piece takes advantage of some of the show’s tricks, including strobe lights, loud noises, sudden mood changes, a pre-curtain soundtrack that hints at Hitchcock’s horror, and perhaps Jordan Peele.
“Elephant” is the work of a knowledgeable team of production assistant Chantelle Frazier, sound designer Marc Stith, and costume designer Daniella Toscano.
After the performance, a friend asked if the “elephant” was science fiction. After all, I read Merrick as completely modern, but Treves and Kendal seem to represent the last century in dress, manners, and speech. Still, Kendall also seems to have vast social media such as: Magpie. This is the genius of this collaboration. Not all of us occupy the same space-time moment in terms of race, power and institution. It’s a messed up continuum.
Opening a new season with Elephant is a deliberate nod to the noisy events that have taken place since Benchmark last performed a face-to-face show at an intimate theater near Corfax Avenue in Lakewood. .. “Aftermath” is a guide theme for the 2021/2022 season.
Some local theaters have decided to open with shows that seem to suggest a return to a daunting business as usual, but the most enthusiastic companies have faced the challenges presented by 2020. I’m digging into it. It’s good to have a creative who believes that there seems to be the best way to move forward.
“Elephant.” Developed and devised by Abner Genece, Candace Joice and Neil Truglio. A work by Torrio. Featuring Nnamdi K. Nwankwo, Dan O’Neill and Courtney Esser. Until October 30th. Lakewood 1560 Teller St. On the 40 West bench. Benchmark Theater.com..
Over the past few weeks, Theater Or and Tattered Cover Book Store have released a free webinar series called “Honoring Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg” to coincide with the production of the theater company “Sisters in Law.” By Jonathan Shapiro. It’s an agile way to draw the audience into the issues that theater gently raises, as well as lure legitimate eagles and court watchers into theater nights.
Amy Feinberg’s “Sisters in Law” is an adaptation of Linda Hirschman’s double biography of the first and second women in the Supreme Court. While continuing to dance between the characters with this two-handed spy, Shapiro repeats O’Connor — many times to Gimberg’s taste — “It doesn’t matter if I was the first woman here, or you’re the second. The important thing is that we are not the last. “
This one-act play unfolds in a highly efficient set (by Laura K. Love) that plays with five concepts. Five chairs, five pillars, five robes – all show the definitive number of tilting the court in either direction in the ruling. Number of narrow wins above consensus.
Next to the bench is each woman’s office. Not surprisingly, the audience on the left is Ginsburg and the right is O’Connor, but the play occasionally rejects these bifurcated distinctions.
Hirschman’s 2015 book reviews often commend the author for his two careers leading up to O. Connor and Ginsburg’s landing at Marble Palace. Shapiro’s play involves the two when they get there. It may be a loss, but it will be an entertaining tango of two brilliant hearts by two powerful performers, Sally Knudsen as O’Connor and A. Lee Massaro as Ginsburg. (The night I saw “Sisters,” Understudy’s Marcia Darcy was doing a mysterious job as a “notorious RBG.”)
“Women in power process power in a way that makes us all want more women in power,” Shapiro told Arizona Jewish life when it premiered in Phoenix in 2019. rice field.
“Sister-in-law.” Written by Jonathan Shapiro. Based on Linda Hirschman’s book. A film directed by Amy Feinberg. John Hand Theater, 7653E.1st place until October 31st. email@example.com or 303-802-5122. For the final webinar on the October 20th legislative changes, please visit: tatteredcover.com..
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