BWW Review: Eden Theater Company's THE ROOM PLAYS Zooms In On Teleconferenced Relationships
"I guess I knew that you could miss the things you love; I didn't know you could miss the things you hate," ponders a New York apartment-dweller who sees little reason to get out of bed as she lives in isolation in this era of COVID-19.
The self-described "restaurant critic in a post-restaurant world" is the first character revealed by New York's Eden Theater Company in their premiere edition of THE ROOM PLAYS, a series of short, site specific pieces created for presentation on Zoom.
The Bedroom Plays, which premiered recently and can now be seen on YouTube, will be followed by The Living Room Plays (premiering July 9) and The Bathroom Plays (premiering August 6).
In Jake Brasch's "The Man in the Fuchsia Mask" (directed by Jordan Gemaehlich) the belligerent reviewer (Audrey Rapoport) spends her lonely days recalling the pleasure she used to get instigating daily conflicts with others until the title character (Byron Anthony) shows up on her computer screen to challenge her to attempt empathetic human connections.
With its title referring to an Avestan term for a supernatural being, Cassandra Paras' "Daeva" (directed by Anthony) is a mini-thriller where an archaeologist (Matt Pilcie), stunk in quarantine halfway around the world from his pregnant wife (Paras) teleconferences with the good news that he's coming home. But the power of a mysterious artifact may ruin their celebration.
Lastly, Tracy Carns' "In a Bubble, With Only You" (directed by Diane Davis) takes place the morning after a wedding night when the bride (Simone Grossman) set fire to the couple's bed, sending the groom (Robbie Gemaehlich) fleeing. As she sits outside his locked motel door, they come to realize their courtship was more of a Captain Ahab-like pursuit.
As many theatre artists have been spending the last few months creating livestreamed works using platforms such as Zoom, there has been some debate as to whether or not to truly regard this work as theatre. Nevertheless, the need to create some kind of reaction to the newly shared experiences created by the pandemic has fueled the use of teleconferencing as a site specific genre. The Eden Theater Company's enjoyable early effort in this realm opens door for more in-depth explorations in the future.
From This Author Michael Dale
After 20-odd years singing, dancing and acting in dinner theatres, summer stocks and the ever-popular audience participation murder mysteries (try improvising with audiences after they?ve
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