BWW Reviews: Glass Mind Theatre's THE DUM DUMS Provides Visual Yum Yums at Gallery 788
I rather wanted to call Glass Mind Theatre's THE DUM DUMS a weird little piece of experimental theatre, but it is, in fact, a plot-driven story, with regular people characters and a beginning middle and end, so not all that 'experimental' after all. It FEELS experimental, but in a good way.
Joshua Conkel has written a sci-fi piece that in many ways boldly goes where no one has gone before, but somehow feels awfully familiar. Three female astronauts take off to explore a distant planet. Since the audience seating is arranged around the dance-floor stage area, we are on board as well. The environment of the ship surrounds us, and we become the "fourth woman" on the journey.
With the performance enveloping us, even as we notice the theatrical devices, we submit to their sway- which is one theme of THE DUM DUMS, Glass Mind Theatre's Spring production. Another is of the overwhelming mundane nature of human beings even in the throes of extraordinary circumstance.
The set, which includes either lighting fixtures that sit on the floor, or avant garde floor lamps, (I couldn't make up my mind) is largely inferred. This works very well for the production. The sound and lighting design are thorough and effective enough to produce a set we believe but can't see. Throughout the show, which is produced without intermission and lasts one hour, there is an elegant ballet of light that enhances its otherworldly feel.
From the Glass Mind Theatre company actors Liz Galuardi, Sam Hayder and Ann Turiano, director Benjamin Kamine draws believable, nuanced performances. The whole thing, while deliberately fantastic, seems natural and surreal at the same time. The playwright calls the show a fully-produced workshop, which confused me when I read it- is the show not done yet? but by which he means the director and actors helped create the journey the audience sees. That probably happens a lot with new shows, only most playwrights aren't so humble or generous. The only thing that failed to impress me about the show was its title, which seems to have no relationship to the show at all- until I read the author's notes. This whole journey is evidently a metaphor for depression, which, at a gut level, I got, but didn't process intellectually. Does that make me one of THE DUM DUMS ? Maybe. I could do worse.
For tickets, contact the box office at 443-475-0223 or firstname.lastname@example.org; for more information, see www.glassmindtheatre.com
3602 Hickory Ave
Baltimore, MD 21211
Friday, 3/13 at 8pm
Sunday, 3/15 at 4pm
Thursday, 3/19 at 8pm
Saturday, 3/21 at 8pm
Thurday, 3/26 at 8pm
Friday, 3/27 at 8pm
Sunday, 3/29 at 4pm
Friday, 4/3 at 8pm
Saturday, 4/4 at 8pm
Photo images are courtesy of Tyrone R. Eaton Photography