A Company of Wayward Saints Thinking Outside the BoxBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jul 8th, 2006 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of A Company of Wayward Saints performed by Out Of The Black Box Theatre Company. [MP3 4:10 1.2MB]
Laura: We saw A Company of Wayward Saints performed by Out Of The Black Box Theatre Company in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Mike: A Company of Wayward Saints is a play written by George Herman. It’s the story of a group of actors. They are a traveling troupe who have been traveling for centuries and can’t quite get home. Unfortunately they are getting a little sick of each other and the fact that they have no money is getting them a little stressed. They found a wealthy benefactor who will help them get home if they will perform a piece he chooses to his satisfaction. He chooses a history of man, which is of course open to interpretation. So they decide to improvise the history of man starting at the beginning. Unfortunately it doesn’t work out well because they all have a different impression of how important each of them is to the troupe and by the end of the first act the entire thing falls apart. So you have to wait for the second act to see what happens to the troupe.
Laura: OutOfTheBlackBox Theatre Company is a new company. This is their second show. The first being Six Characters in Search of an Author in October 2005.
Mike: A Company of Wayward Saints was a good choice for this group since it wasn’t very complicated.
Laura: The costuming was very well done and the props they brought on were also very creative.
Mike: I liked the way they used the space of the black box at the Greenbelt Arts Center. The audience was situated on three sides of the stage with four or five rows of seats on each side so you were right there with the action. The stage had a crisscross set of curtains cutting off the back section of the stage. That’s where they did a lot of their different scenes.
Laura: The acting however was a bit uneven. You had actors in the second act that did a really good job I thought whereas in the first act they appeared to me to be rather nervous.
Mike: I agree. The first act was a bit rougher than the second act. Part of that was the basic plot of the story whereas the first act they were supposed to be at odds with each other. But some of the lines they were dropping were outside of what the script was calling for. The second act went much better.
Laura: In the first act, the troupe tried to perform the history of man starting with Genesis. Unfortunately they were really sick of each other and so that fell apart quickly. The second act they did four stages of life: birth, adolescence, marriage, and death. That flowed together really well I thought.
Mike: The first scene of Man that we were able to see in the second act was birth. We were able to see the doctor, Doctore The Learned, who was performed by Bill Jones. He was talking with the soon to be father, Tristano the Lover, who was played by Christian Stone. They had a nice little conversation about the meaning of life and birth and the future and the responsibilities of fatherhood. They were very comfortable with each other in that scene. The nervousness of Tristano really showed on his face when he was worried about his wife and soon to be born baby.
Laura: The second scene in the second act was adolescence. That was performed by Scapino played by Jaimee Wurzel, and Raffiana played by Michelle Reed. I really liked their performance. They were really comfortable with each other. They were talking about their roles and trying to figure out the differences between girls and boys. I liked their emotion and I liked that scene very much.
Mike: The actors did much better in the smaller groups in the second act than they did in the large group in the first act of the show. So I would encourage you to go out and support this brand new theatre troupe, The OutOfTheBlackBox Theatre Company.
Laura: A Company of Wayward Saints is playing through July 22 at The Greenbelt Arts Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
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Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.