BWW Review: TRYOUTS Examines Art and the Female Experience in Austin, TX
Now playing at The Dougherty Arts Center in Downtown Austin, TRYOUTS brings to life an examination of Leonardo da Vinci's painting, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne. Painted in 1503, this work has been analyzed by many historians to decipher Leonardo's relationship to both religion and female expression. Among the analysts is psychology's godfather, Sigmund Freud. The essay Leonardo da Vinci and A Memory of His Childhood psychoanalyzes Leonardo's life based on his paintings. Freud theorized the depiction of the two mothers and the child in this painting represent Leonardo's emotional suppression and a manifestation of what Freud refers to as, The Vulture Fantasy. Moving from the subject matter presented by the men of the past, TRYOUTS consists of five talented women navigating the mother-daughter dynamic in the present day. Against the backdrop of an uppity all-girls school, more modern and common feminine themes are presented for the audience to contemplate - at least that is what appears on the surface.
The staging presented by director Diana Lynn Small is both sophisticated and compelling. Utilizing the depth of both the stage and the show's characters, the multidimensional levels of action compliment the focus within a particular scene. With the movement of the action harkening to that of a modern movement piece, the style matched beautifully with the dialogue provided by the experimental playwright Adara Meyers. TRYOUTS flows with elegance and the constant question of who these characters are, though more compellingly, what these female characters represent. Over the course of the hour long show, these roles begin to unravel, revealing their complicated influence with the world and their changing relationships. Moving the show's action with neurotic poise, actor Paige Tautz represents a woman's eye quivering with anger, above a beautifully red-glossed lip. Struggling with her escalating circumstances and losing grasp on reality, Tautz played her character arc with a mark of great skill, delivering a performance that left the audience enthralled, but wanting to know more.
Having walked into the house of The Dougherty Arts Center with little information regarding this great work of art and psychoanalysis, the text written by Adara Meyers seems to be well-timed by inserting her voice into this centuries long conversation. The voice presented within these fascinating characters and their escalating dynamic, left the audience curious as to the true nature of the story. A show that can be seen on multiple occasions to discover the references and metaphors, TRYOUTS presents a deep level of symbolism and entertainment. True to Salvage Vanguard Theater(s) mission to foster experimentation and generate conversation for their viewership, this show definitely delivers.
TRYOUTS by Adara Meyers
October 11th- October 27th2018
Thursday- Saturday night at 8pm
Dougherty Arts Center
1110 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, TX 78704
TICKETS:$10, online. Pay-What-You-Wish every night at the door.
Box office opens at 7pm.
Reservations for each performance can be made at salvagevanguard.org/tickets/
Every Friday night is FREE for Teens!