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Theater of the absurd for 2010

It’s theater month for me, with the Belfry Theatre‘s SPARK Festival leading the way.

Tonight I saw Tiny Apocalypse (video excerpt here), a powerful one-woman play by Camille Gingras, in which an office drone named Rita Downenlower (“down and lower”) slowly comes undone.  The play is pitch-perfect: nothing over-the-top or campy or horribly lugubrious, just pure existential absurdity in the spirit of Beckett or Ionesco, albeit in tune with the peculiar details of our times.

Photo of Cherise Clarke by Mike Bernard



It stars the multi-talented artist and actress Cherise Clarke (her website is in progress, but this page gives some biographical background). Clarke plays the part of Rita perfectly – I laughed at Rita, but cared about her, felt distanced from and analyzed her, but was drawn into her drama. The set design and incorporation of video is a knock-out.

Imagine something like Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, except stripped down to just the essentials and to just one woman going mad. Tiny Apocalypse is a bit like that. All in all, definitely worth taking in.

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