Saturday, February 04, 2017

The Nora Theatre Company Presents "Intimate Exchanges" by Alan Ayckbourn - Through February 12th

Sarah Elizabeth Bedard as Female
Jade Ziane as Male
"Intimate Exchanges"
by Alan Ayckbourn
The Nora Theatre Company
Central Square Theater
Through February 12th 
The current production by The Nora Theatre Company at Central Square Theater is the two-hander "Intimate Exchanges" by Alan Ayckbourn. The conceit of the play is that two actors portray multiple characters, and that at intermission the audience gets to vote on whether Act Two will follow the arc of the life of Sylvie or of Celia.

The play is directed by Olivia D'Ambrosio. Lighting is by John R. Malinowski, Sound and original music by Nathan Leigh, Scenic Design by Anne Sherer, Costumes by Chelsea Kerl.

The advantage of having two actors play multiple roles is that we get to see on display the remarkable versatility of Sarah Elizabeth Bedard and Jade Ziane. Each actor is tested in playing characters of different ages and social classes, and each character is nicely differentiated in the acting. The down side to this approach is that the characters change so quickly and frequently that is was difficult to create any degree of emotional attachment to any of these characters. I simply did not come to care about the fate of Celia or Sylvie or anyone on the stage. And if I do not care, then I am not engaged. This lack of engagement can be laid at the feet of the structure of the play, and not attributed to any failure on the part of Ms. Bedard or Mr. Ziane. They played the roles as written, and played them well. Watching them struggle within this structure was a treat and was the best part of the experience of watching a less-than-intimate play.

"Intimate Exchanges" will run at Central Square Theater through February 12th. Come out and vote.



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