Sunday, January 17, 2010
Talking With is a collection of eleven monologues by women characters, first staged in 1981 in Louisville, Kentucky. It played off-Broadway in 1982 to great success. The identity of playwright Jane Martin remains a mystery. All of her considerable work has first been staged at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky, by that group's artistic director John Jory.
This is a collection of sharp, bittersweet portraits of women, many of whom have reacted to disappointments by melting into private worlds. An actress; a housewife who lives much of the day in the dream world of Oz; a baton twirler and a rodeo rider; an aspiring actress; a woman about to give birth to a child who may be deformed; a devotee of the plastic world of McDonald's; and more.
Martin's pieces offer actresses a moment on the high wire -- an almost bare stage, a character, and an audience to convince. Monologues run about ten minutes. They have a rhythm. Establishment; elaboration; vivid word pictures;a moment of absence; a jolt or a moment of defiance as the woman leads us, willing, to lean over her Pensieve.
Six actresses associated with the North by Northwest Theatre company did Talking With last October at the City Theatre. The Red Dragon Players at Austin High School have just done a version featuring no fewer than 27 actresses, trading out roles over the five-day run of the production.
Read more at AustinLiveTheatre.com . . . .