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REVIEW: Sinful production connects with audience

CHUCK GRAHAM
Citizen Drama Critic
April 5, 2001


"The Nine Sins" plays out like a haunted house of the adult mind. Instead of being presented on a stage, this nine-segment work is experienced by walking through a series of rooms at the Ortspace studio, 121 E. Seventh St. Each of the rooms is dedicated to dramatizing one of the nine sins of Catholic tradition - the five cardinal sins of pride, anger, avarice, gluttony and unchastity and the four additional sins of envy, vainglory, gloominess and languid indifference.
The production is a joint collaboration with O-T-O Dance founding artistic director Anne Bunker, musician/composer Chuck Koesters, performance artist Paul Fisher and painter Bradley W. Pattison.
For two of the sins, the audience stands outside and watches the performers caged in stage boxes that once were part of the spacious downtown building's loading docks. All the performance spaces are dimly lighted, with eerie atmospheres created by surreal sculptures and other special effects.
Pride, for example, is seen in a room hung with climbing ropes and a net large enough to catch trapeze artists. With the audience sitting around the outside edge of the net, seven performers inside the net moan and struggle to get out, while plaintive music adds to the emotional impact of the struggle.
The people are trapped in the net of pride. Some play figures who don't even know they are trapped, but slowly come to realize with horror they will never be able to escape.
Each of the sins has its own revelations, accompanied by Fisher tucked into each setting, reciting a sonnet he composed to that particular sin. The experience is so individualistic. Every sin will connect in a different way, depending on the audience member's memory bank. But one thing you can be sure of, the sins will connect.

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Copyright 2001 Tucson Citizen