All That Dies And Rises, now playing at the IATI Theater, is a collection of vignettes based on the writings of August Strindberg, Franz Kafka, Gertrude Stein, and Charles Bukowski. Seven cast members interpret these works together through physical movement, contortions, shadows, mime, and song.
According to the director’s note printed in the front of the program, the creative team was supposed to be staging a production of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie. For whatever reason, the show “fell apart,” and the director was left with a creative team but no play. Together, they created All That Dies And Rises. While I commend the cast and creative team for making the best of a difficult situation, the resulting show is very much unfinished.
There are plenty of interesting ideas explored in the show about storytelling, particularly the segment where the narrator keeps telling a story about her neighbor to her father and he is unsatisfied with how she is telling it. Together, the ensemble use their bodies to build the bed where her father is laying down. Also, their collaboration in creating more complex shadows on the white walls is a promising idea introduced early on. Unfortunately, it is not used effectively throughout all the vignettes and feels forgotten by the end.
The biggest problem with All That Dies And Rises is the lack of cohesion between all the vignettes. All of the cast is trying their best to make it all work, and there is definitely talent in this ensemble. With more time, perhaps they could have developed a compelling and challenging show that utilized the physical nature of their performance, but All That Dies And Rises never quite rises to the occasion.
All That Dies And Rises is playing at the IATI Theater from December 11 to 21, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM, with an additional 8 PM performance on Sunday, December 14 and 3:00 PM performance on Saturday, December 20. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at http://www.M-34.org.
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