May 20, 2005

Theater Review: Impact Briefs

I'm in the Bay Area for the Online Deliberation conference, and while I've got all sorts of important things I should be doing, I'd rather talk about a play.

See, I did a really bad job of planning this trip, but I decided to take an extra night and hit the Impact Briefs show. Impact Theater plays in the basement of LaVals, in Berkeley, which means that it's theater you can drink beer and eat pizza to. This is a very good thing for any sort of theater, but espcially theirs.

This episode is the "how to" show, and--as promised--provides a great deal of useful how-to information. How To Avoid Drowning in Two Inches of Water. How To Be Popular. How to Order a Fun Dinner in a Fun Restaurant

Thursdays through Saturdays, through May 28.

(More, below the line...)

The show rotates between three media: a funny, short plays, less than ten minutes; hilarious, narrated slide shows; and clippings from the Prelinger Archive. The plays are largely good; two of them, I think, both by Wayne Rawley, are brilliant. (Yes, Wayne just left Seattle for the Bay Area.)

"How to ask a scary question" addresses a real issue in everyone's life: he and she are sitting on a couch. He builds his strength, looks nervous--and wants to ask the question that's clearly been on his mind. What the question is, and how she answers, and what happens after that is, of course, what makes the play. And even if you haven't asked that question, you've been right there.

"How to Gain Controlling Interest" addresses the real questions in a boardroom, complete with suits and ties.

The various edits from the Prelinger Archive are marvelous, but that's mostly because I just can't get enough of 1950s social hygeine films. As a proto-sociologist, I watch them with a certain fascination: they are an intentional, explicit attempt to construct social mores. Which I think I'll have to blog about some other time soon.

Check it out.

May 20, 2005 07:07 PM | TrackBack | in Other