Saturday, September 11, 2010

Muses IV, Vestige Group at a private residence in 78704, August 29 - September 12

Muses IV Vestige group

The Vestige Group's annual Muses performance in a private residence is a fun evening outing. It's a bit like supervised trick or treating, except that the ten encounters for your group of fewer than a dozen take place on the same property. And you're not in disguise; the actors are.

The experience is designed for about 30 persons each night. We gathered on that big old porch for check-in as the evening shadows were gathering. Refreshments were available for a donation and mosquito spray was available for free. Susie Gidseg and companions divided us into three groups and accompanied to us to different starting points on the circuit. The webmaster of TheatreAustin at Yahoo groups decided that ours with Susie would be the "banshees" (cf. Siouxsie and the same, the British rock group, fl. 1976-1988).

Christian Huey as Winston, Jen Brown as Denise ( previous years the collection of scriptwriters absorbed the vibes of the chosen house and let their imaginations run free. This year, experimenting with more structure, Vestige organizers gave the eight writers a family, ready-made, and asked for ten scenes to illustrate their lives. As in previous years, the scenes were sharp, well acted and complete in themselves.

What you don't know as you're going into the experience is that you are going to see some of the same characters embodied by different actors. The banshees went through the scenes in the order listed in the program. Not until a ten-minute break after scene four, necessary for traffic flow, did we study out the fact that in the first three vignettes we had viewed Denise the tippling therapist portrayed in turn, over the lapse of more than a year and in reverse chronological order, by Cathie Sheridan, Jen Brown and Kimberley Mead -- actresses of different shapes, styles and appearances.

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