Contemporary Arts Theater Festival 2023

It's always showtime! Jazz hands!!
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Location: Charm City
House: Ravenclaw


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Contemporary Arts Theater Festival 2023

Post by WolfofWords »

We saw three out of five plays this past weekend and they were all great. They are all world premieres as is the norm for the festival. It's amazing being part of the first crowds to see a show.

The Overview Effect
By Lynn Rosen

This was the first play that we sat down for and it had a great high-energy feel to get me into the mood. A young woman, tortured by the ghosts of her past, investigates a space shuttle accident and uncovers more than she expected. This play had the largest cast of the weekend. The show had a quirky sense of humor as we followed a main character so obviously on the spectrum. We get to watch her explore the space between two billionaires obsessed with space and the eccentric people they attract. Sofia Jean Gomez plays the main character with so much heart that it is hard not to root for her in every single moment. I admit, I cried a little at the catharsis at the end. Triney Sandoval plays a somewhat aggressive rich man obsessed with space to help humanity but not so good with people. Chris Thorn plays another billionaire obsessed with space but his journey is far more personal. The main character’s investigation expands to cover a lot of crazy characters and her own past. The music was also great in this one. I recommend this play, it’s still running for the next two weekends.

By Chisa Hutchinson

This was the second night of the weekend and I was ready for something a little quieter and this one definitely delivered. Along with redemption, this play covered hate crimes and prison reform. A woman reluctantly visits the man who beat her brother to death in prison to hear his business proposition. This was a play with just two characters who were locked in a duel of wits throughout the runtime. Elizabeth Sun plays a Chinese immigrant who has made something of herself in the US despite her past tragedies. Her confidence is fun to watch and she is so clever and funny. Doug Harris plays a prisoner, a man beaten down but who also has a sharp mind. The play went to places that I was not expecting but I was really happy to go there. Parts were uncomfortable but the play kept things light enough to soldier on. The show really walks you through what accountability and redemption should and should not look like. I recommend this play, it’s still running for the next two weekends.

Fever Dreams (of Animals on the Verge of Extinction)
By Dale Orlandersmith

The final play of the weekend and this one had a bit of action and a lot of comedy. A couple meets in their usual love nest, a cabin in the wilderness, but this time things seem off and dangerous. Marika Engelhardt plays a delightfully sunny woman who is determined to have sex and not think about the outside world. Tim Decker plays her longtime lover, a doctor who is happy to get some time with his college crush once again. He is relatable and sappy and you just want to give him a hug. Stef Tovar plays the woman’s husband, a man on the verge of a breakdown but determined to do his best. The trio have so much chemistry with each other as they try to answer questions that they have put off for so long and some new ones too. The dialogue is very funny which breaks up the really tense moments of melodrama. The play covers regret, existential dread, and the way that memory changes to suit our wants and needs. I also recommend this play as it has two more weekends as well.