Sunday, February 5, 2012

Science-Fiction Theater: Menders

(credit: Justin Hoch)
Flux Theater Ensemble at the Gym at Judson
written by Erin Browne
directed by Heather Cohn

In a catastrophic future, a young woman patrols the wall that keeps undesireables out of her city. To pass the time, her mentor tells her and her cousin parables with a slightly subversive tone, though the heroine can't say quite how. Erin Browne's self-serious drama expresses furious frustration over the political repression of homosexuality and a fearful depiction of how totalitarian states force its citizens to betray themselves by informing on others. But her dystopia is less like A Handmaid's Tale than The Hunger Games, substituting simple anti-authoritarianism for a more complex worldview and twisting the plot in obvious directions. Director (Heather Cohn) and dramaturg (Annie-Sage Whitehurst) should also have cut the recitations of Frost's “Mending Wall”. But these are faults of youth, forgivable with good performances (especially Matt Archambault) and a compelling design (Cory Rodriguez, who designs the set's walls slide ominously under their own power). Menders has the sincere intensity of a young company with something noble to say.


Menders plays at the Gym at Judson, closing on February 11. Tickets?

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