Dream Theatre Company, "SlowAnna."
The Side Studio
1520 W. Jarvis
Jarvis stop of the Red Line
Phone 773-474-9070
$15; $10 students
Closes July 30

a hella disturbing play, and giao said, "russian plays are even more violent and disturbing."

maybe it has something to do with communism and trying to run 12 time zones all at once. the writer, jeremy menekseoglu, whose background is russian, said he based it on a school he worked for while in florida.

absolutely disturbing to me because i know those schools exist. the students are victims of their illnesses and shortcomings to begin with, and then they're sent to this institution straight out of victorian asylum hell.

and then i thought of all the child abuse cases by priests at catholic schools here in the u.s., and my disquiet was complete.

SPOILER!!! the opening scene is screaming, a shot, then a principal running across the stage with gloved, bloody hands. it was the scene of putting someone inside the box. the box is just that - a box no bigger than your kitchen cupboard, maybe deeper, with blood and drawings and cords to hook up students with loud, bombastic music and flickering lights in tune with the sound. you get locked up in there for as long as the teachers' whim.

giao gave me the seat between two guys. he's so silly. of course, being seated so close to fellow audience you must at least say hi, and i did, but after that, i fell mute. i read the program instead. the close quarters didn't make me uncomfortable, though. and i couldn't really talk to giao because, as "seat helper," he was acting the part already. the actors play their parts as soon as you enter the theater.

the part i liked the best is the space - i looooooooove intimate venues. can't get enough of them. i {{{heart}}} cozy spaces. the open mics at sala cafe is a conference compared to the the side project's black box of a theater. the actors screamed and yelled and ran across just like any other stage, so you're forced to join them all because you sit so near them. when it's pitch black, it's pitch, save for the soundperson's unintrusive green study lamp on the small second floor to the left of the stage. it's an apartment building converted to stage space. soooooooooooo cool.

and giao sat me smack dab in the middle, in front of the space that divided the audience, the second row which is also the last, where no seat rested in front, where some actor can just reach out and grab me by the throat. purty neat. :pleased:

giao called just now, wanted to thank me for seeing his play yesterday. oh, how cute. ahahahaha.

but i still didn't write that freaky piece at some google groups last may. ann-oy-ing. :-(

chicago tribune: Humor tempers tough stories. `SlowAnna,' `Clay' try to find laughs. By Nina Metz.

chicago reader: The setting might be contemporary America, but the school known as "System 16" is a nightmare straight out of Victorian literature. By Mary Shen Barnidge.
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