REVIEW: Sinful production connects with audience
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
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