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BWW Reviews: KNOWLEDGE & NOISE a Smart Start to the SandBox Series

Pina has no idea what she wants to do with her life. This is the central conflict of Knowledge & Noise, playing for one more weekend at Miami Theater Center's (MTC) SandBox Series.

Pina, the play's central character, only knows that she wants to learn; learn everything -- take the world in and filter none of it for any single purpose. Purpose? What's that, why can't we simply learn to "know"? A proposition to which her pragmatic mother, and society, says: No. And so Pina is exiled to a scary place, where she only has one notebook to scribble her trivia. In exile, Pina is reunited with her brother, exiled before her -- a brother who has gone a little mad, but who is still, somewhere deep inside, hopeful that knowledge leads somewhere other than noise. Together, they embark on a great adventure, and we, happily, curiously, follow.

The play, cleverly and compassionately written by Theo Reyna, is a reminder that, sometimes, all you need to be transported as an audience member is a good solid script and actors that can drive it. Giordan Diaz, who plays part of the ensemble is magical. Playing two lost brothers at once, he manages one of the show's funniest scenes. Meanwhile, Regina Gonzalez, who plays Pina, even-keys the show with the dry and sardonic wit of the know-it-all twenty-something she portrays. For Pina, this hits the right key and reminds us all of our twenties; our own quarter life crises -- sort of like Girls, except mythologized and much more existential.

Knowledge & Noise kicks off MTC's SandBox series, a series meant to incubate new work, and supported by a generous Knight Arts Challenge Grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Not only does Miami need places like this, where playwright's and contemporary performance artists can "play," and put forth new, interesting, experimental, and brave work, but it also folds nicely into MTC as a whole. MTC, which started out its life out as The Playground Theatre -- a children's theater company that brought beautiful, mythical adventures to the stage, has expanded to include programming and educational opportunities for all ages. SandBox fits nicely into both MTC's roots and its expanded vision and I, for one, look forward to the series as a whole. Upcoming are Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, a performance artist, who will present Black Male Revisited; Juraj Kojs, a composer, who will unveil a new work called Signals; Juan C. Sanchez, a playwright, working on a new play called Paradise Motel; and Carlota Pradera, a choreographer, who will be working on a piece called Bare Bones. Let's just say you can exile me to MTC anytime.

Knowledge & Noise plays for one more weekend. Nov. 15 and 16 @ 8pm. At MTC 9806 NE 2nd Ave, Miami Shores, FL 33138.

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