Soho Rep. never fails to astonish, entertain and challenge me with their fresh offerings of new works by gifted playwrights. The current production of "10 Out Of 12" by Anne Washburn - recently extended for the second time through July 18 - is no exception. This play is based on notes that Ms. Washburn has taken over the years during tech rehearsals for the plays that she has been involved with. Les Waters directs a very capable ensemble cast
The set-up for this meta play is that each audience member is treated as a member of the tech crew, on headset on Channel 1 to listen in on the banter that occurs among the technical staff during a grueling tech rehearsal for a play that is fraught with many of the typical difficulties that one encounters in trying to bring the ideas of a playwright into reality on a stage with flawed human beings in charge of the acting and creative arts.
Te result is a play that is offered to theater insiders as a way of both celebrating and laughing at the foibles of those who would seek to tame the Muse. A lost Exacto knife comes back to haunt one of the crew and almost sends him to the hospital. The persistent EXIT sign almost sends the Director into apoplexy. Lingering resentments between actors that carry over from previous projects threaten to derail this train. An OCD actress fusses over the precise placement of a table. And the inevitable self-important veteran actor, who thinks he knows how to tell the story better than both the playwright and the Director, stops the rehearsal to offer ex tempore re-writes, dramaturgical comments and put-downs of the other actors in the midst of a long philosophical rant that leaves everyone else speechless. We knew that this particular volcano would eventually erupt. We just did not know precisely when and in which direction the molten lava would flow.
Audience members seemed to be mostly seasoned members of the NYC theater community, for there were knowing laughs, nods and snickers at many of the familiar dynamics at work in any tech rehearsal. It is no wonder that the run of the show has been extended yet again. There was not an empty seat at the matinee performance I attended. Ms. Washburn has wonderfully captured the ethos of the creative process The ensemble cast are universally effective in working within the mise en scene that the playwright and Director have created.
Set Design by David Zinn, Lighting Design by Justin Townsend, Sound Design by Bray Poor, Costume Design by Ásta Bennie Hostetter, Props by George Hoffmann & Greg Kozatek; Production Stage Manager: Amanda Spooner, Production Manger: Jeff Drucker, Company Manager: Sizo Kunene, Casting: Jack Doulin, C.S.A. Illustration: Riki Blanco.
Featuring: Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Jeff Biehl, Gibson Frazier, Rebecca Hart, Nina Hellman, Sue Jean Kim, Bruce McKenzie, Garrett Neergaard, Bray Poor, David Ross, Thomas Jay Ryan, Conrad Schott, Wendy Rich Stetson and Leigh Wade.
|"10 Out of 12"|
by Anne Washburn
Through July 18
Photo by Julieta Cervantes
SoHo Rep Website