Friday, June 29, 2007

Stuff Happens


June 22nd - July 22nd

Tickets and Information

With the issue on Iraq still in hot debate, political playwright David Hare’s recent play, Stuff Happens, makes its way to ACT’s stage. This play puts forth a documentary style commentary that reviews the birth of the Iraq situation through the use of historic facts and staged internal government interactions. The words and events presented hold weight and are at the same time evenhanded; leaving out the playwright's bias for the most part and presenting interests from many sides.

ACT’s rendition of this play effectively uses its vast arena theater to present the varying locations and “audiences” the plot encounters. Through dynamic lighting (Mary Louise Geiger), effective sound (Dominic CodyKramers) and the mechanical uses of the set design (Robert A. Dahlstrom), the actual audience is transported from intimate conversations between Colin Powell and George Bush to the UN or large assemblies where they take the part of the assembled listening to speeches. Varied blocking is used to separate the factual narrative from the dramatic action, keeping the audience focused as testimonials and conversations present themselves from various sides of the discussion.

Photo Credit: Chris Bennion

Very powerful performances are given from the ensemble cast which boasts a great deal of well-known and talented actors, notably Charles Dumas in his depiction of the honest and conflicted Colin Powell. The collective force of the cast leads to moving moments, and effectively sways the audience to consider each character’s point. This play puts forth reasoning from many different angles, and members of the audience commented on their need to restrain anger or their admittance to better understanding of the issue; a testament to the actor’s portrayal and the director’s (Victor Pappas) abilities.

Mixing political thought, documentary narrative style and a dash of satirical humor, a dramatic and memorable account of the recent conflict is produced. Come see ACT’s and David Hare’s oval office/stage as it tackles the Iraq conflict June 22nd – July 22nd.

Review By Rick Skyler

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