BWW Review: Paper Chairs' PLANO is Perfection
PLANO is a play by Will Arbery about three sisters who are each grappling with different effects from a family curse. With problems ranging from slug infestations to ex-husband clones, the sisters face it all in this fast-paced, cerebral tale presented by Paper Chairs with direction by Dustin Wills.
PLANO is everything an adult audience could ask for in a night of local theatre - a stellar cast, magnificent set, and design details executed to perfection. With a combination of tragic themes and dark humor, this show left mundanity behind and transported attendees to a porch in North Texas - where even the cursed know things could be worse. They could be in Plano.
The Paper Chairs cast didn't miss a beat - with clever, lengthy monologues that were performed at breakneck speed. (Think Gilmore Girls pacing, but with far more existential dread.) While the emotional and mental rigor required for these performances can hardly be overstated, each performance was as physical as it was intellectual - with some truly tricky fight choreography (Travis Dean).
Among a talented group of actors, the three sisters stole the stage. As Anne, Heather Hanna portrayed the most optimistic sister - determined to seek out the good even as her relationship and home were crumbling. As Isabel, Elizabeth Doss anxiously clung to hope that God would intervene on her behalf. As Genevieve, Hannah Kenah was the realist who made sure everyone saw how ridiculous their circumstances were. The remarkable cast was rounded out by Janelle Buchanan (Mary), Josh Meyer (Steve), Harold Fisch (John/Juan), and Matt Hislope (Faceless Ghost).
The sound design for this show was superb (also by Dustin Wills), and the lighting (Miriam Alexander) paired well with the eerie tone of the show and the multi-dimensional set. The set itself was an absolute work of art (Lisa Laratta). Featuring multiple levels, clever angles, and even trap doors - it allowed for several twists and turns within the show and kept the audience checking every window and shadow for the next surprise.
PLANO wrapped up its run at Ground Floor Theatre last Saturday, September 28th, after several sold-out performances. If you missed it, you can follow Paper Chairs on Instagram or Facebook to learn more about their upcoming productions. The next show is sure to be worth the wait!