Monday, August 5, 2013

Three or the Sound of the Great Existential Nothingness by Timothy Braun, Breaking String Theatre at the Off Center, July 26 - August 17, 2013

ALT review

Three by Timothy Braun Breaking String Theatre Austin TX
(poster design by JennyMarie Jemison)

by Brian Paul Scipione

What Philosophers Call It

A pause button: many wish for it and none achieve it.

Many of life’s moments skyrocket past us with meteor-like frenzy. Some we miss altogether, because we were simply too wrapped up in, well, what we consider to be life. Vonnegut fantasizes about something similar in Slaughterhouse Five: the ability to stretch time out like taffy, look at each and every important moment from our past, and understand how they brought us to the present. Because, honestly, we know all along as it’s happening. One thing does lead to another,r and while nothing was actually our fault, if we could do it all over again differently-- we probably would.

Three or the Sound of Existential Nothingness is not science fiction or a playful modern fantasy. It’s a modern adaption of Chekov’s masterpiece Three Sisters. The play portrays the titular trio plus one lover and one brother. No special effects or time travel involved; yet while watching the play, the spectator is whisked back and forth, through a thousand moments: many seem insignificant but all matter.

Allow me to explain, if I can (avoiding spoilers and misdirection, of course).

Three or the Existential Sound of the Great Nothingness Timothy Braun Breaking String Austin TX
Jeff Mills (photo: Will Hollis Snider)
Within the first three minutes of the evening the fourth wall is shattered. No objection to that; many people know that playwright Timothy Braun is adapting 113-year-old material for a modern audience: why not take a casual approach to the format? Alas, this is only the least of the changes to this inter-dimensional story. 

The crux of the drama lies not in what Andres the brother (Jeff Mills) says directly to the audience as the de facto narrator. Rather, it consists of every little thing the characters don’t say. Here, the five players of Three truly explode the parameters of Ia Enstera’s theatre-in-the-round set-up.

Wait, let’s pause and rewind. . . .

Read more at . . . 

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