Monday, October 31, 2016
Far Away written by Caryl Churchill brings a nightmarish vision to The Venue (511 Virginia Dr, Orlando, FL 32803). The play began with a young girl (Brenna Arden) in a nightgown crawling on stage. She couldn't sleep. The older woman (Amanda Hudson Giese) in the rocking chair was an aunt that the girl was visiting. The girl had heard screams and crawled out her bedroom window to investigate. Her uncle was beating someone and there was blood everywhere. Others were held captive and were also bloodied. The aunt twisted each aspect of the story to paint the uncle in a better light. Everything she said was a lie. She made the girl swear an oath of silence. Ultimately I feared for the girls life. She was too innocent, to caring to witness what she did. A truly deviant criminal will eliminate all witnesses.
The next act featured hat makers. It was the woman's first day on the job. The male hat maker (Charlie Wright) took her under his wing, letting her know the best place to get lunch. A series of scenes showed them creating hats and becoming more playful together. He ultimately informed her that the way that the business was run, was corrupt. She lamented the fact that 211 their beautiful work would ultimately be cremated along with the bodies. "You make beauty, and it disappears." he replied. That sent me thinking. If a body is lying in a casket then how can a hat be worn? The brim would get in the way or be crushed, ruining the shape of the creation. Perhaps in this futuristic society, bodies are suspended Christ like at a wake, minus the cross of course. The male hat maker vowed to speak to the boss about his concerns about corruption. He might loose his job by speaking up. "If I loose my job, I'd miss you." He said to his work companion. "All ready?" was her response. In one last seen their romance blossomed as they shared some beads. They found themselves holding hands.
A final scene was the strangest of all. Characters spoke of a war with animals and people. I'm assuming the categorizing of animals and nationalities made a point the it makes no sense to separate people based on their skin color, or nationality. A couple hugged for an eternity. She took off a poncho she was wearing and she had on a latex black jumpsuit underneath with gun holsters on he legs. She was a rebel. I lost track of which animals we allies and which were enemies. I believe the elephants switched sides. Wasps were poisoned. The older woman had a phobia about butterflies. She said that in Roman times, people commit suicide by plain a sheet of gold leaf in their throat to asphyxiate themselves. She imagined that inhaling a butterfly would have the same effect. All these scenes seemed to play up to peoples need to categorize each other, thus limiting our view of all the subtle layers that make us each unique.
Far Away presented by Unseen Images Theater runs through November 6.
Tickets are $18.