On A PRISON MADE OF LIGHT

Selena Milewski watched a run of A PRISON MADE OF LIGHT today.  Here’s what she had to say:

Beautiful work today! Thank you so much for your insightful treatment of consciousness within and after life.

Thomas Haskell Simpson’s text brought me into a sort of waking dream. The associative flow of ideas interspersed with potent images and frequent returns to body-centered language (the permanence/impermanence of bones, in particular) creates a truly unique audience experience. The playwright’s references and quotations from history and literature are poignant and well chosen and, again, the overall sense created is one of non-linear journeying—the kind undertaken by a dreaming mind.

Thornton Wilder’s hilltop ghosts in Our Town were undeniably channeled as well, especially in the suggestion that we’re hearing the musings of four souls after death reflecting on the nature of life. The rim-of-the-world green screen backgrounds used by the brilliant performance quartet underscored this sense of floating in space and time.

On the whole, I was struck by the efficacious use of Zoom to create a theatrical event. Digital artifacts such as the occasional melding of a performer’s body with his or her cosmic background fit the play’s otherworldly setting exquisitely.

A perfect piece to support the endurance of theatre in the midst of global pandemic, Prison pulls no punches about life and death, yet treats its audience humanely in its philosophical discourse, even interspersing moments of intimate a cappella singing.

Near or far, we truly are in this together.

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