Friday, December 9, 2011

Burn This by Lanford Wilson, 7 Towers Theatre Company, December 2 - 18

Burn This Lanford Wilson 7 Towers Theatre Company AUstin TX

For this intimate, powerful urban drama the setting is superb: a balcony-level studio downtown with a kitchen, a vantage point from which one could study passing vehicles, lines of close-parked cars, and pedestrians hurrying to music venues nearby. It's a "studio" in every sense of the word: with the addition of a minimum of furniture it represents a New York loft. Situated in the Ballet Austin building at 501 West Third Street, it's an appropriate practice space for the principal character Anna, a dancer aspiring to take on choreography. She says nothing in the opening moments, wrapped in music and apparently lost in an inner world , moving in a deliberate, expressive non-dance, settling on the beanbag chair and pillows right at our feet.

Suzanne Balling (image: Matt Latham)And it's a studio almost in the cinema sense. The 7 Towers Theatre Company performs close up for a limited audience seated on perhaps twenty hard folding chairs along the perimeter of the room. The action is so close before you and the faces are so near that you could be sitting in the darkness before the big screen -- except that these people are real and immediate, and they are using this studio in which you're no more than hovering eyes and consciousness.

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