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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Experimental Theater

Theater Reviews

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  In the intimate Alchemist Theatre located on Kinnickinnic Avenue in Bay View, Pink Banana Theatre Company finds a home—one that“encourages new and emerging artists to focus on their artistic crafts while given the opportunity to grow creativity.” This is the spirit that pervades their spring 2008 production Pink Banana One Acts: The Next Big Thing.”

  The Next Big Thing features seven one-act plays by Milwaukee writers Amanda Baker, C.J. Krueger, Peter Woods and Shepherd Express’ Russ Bickerstaff. The strongest performances in this collection of experimental theatric form and dialogue were Krueger’s “Marqaux’s Plan,” and Bickerstaff’s “Pharmaconfessional.” Though violence or sexual themes infused several of the seven plots, these two explored provoking premises most thoroughly.Absurdist concepts involving time and how it is used permeated “Stop the Clock”by Jason Hart. Each of the one-acts clearly shows that playwrights need courage and opportunities to hone their skills.

  With minimal sets, costumes, and production techniques Pink Banana strives to create a respectful artistic environment that is evident throughout the performances. The acting and directing frequently delivered more promise than the dramas themselves. Acknowledging which actors appeared in each of the one-act performances would be helpful to the audience while they watch from the comfortable vintage theater chairs.

  The Alchemist Theatre’s lounge becomes part of the evening’s entertainment, offering fashionable drinks at affordable prices to sip amid their inviting modern dcor. It also hosts a poetry group on Thursday evenings. As an addition to the burgeoning independent arts scene in Bay View, this small venue provides interesting creative experiences, especially for the mind open to avant-garde expression with the appropriate expectations.

  Continuing until May 24. Information at www.pinkbananatheatre.com.

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