Portland Theater: Imago Stage Two Original One-Acts | July 10-11 & 17-18

Posted by Sasha Burchuk

Veterans of the Imago Theatre Stage Two Original One-Acts

imago theater: desperationThe lights go down and the theatre is drowned in darkness. The air is heavy with the sounds of whales. For half a minute you loose your sense of place.

Out of this murky underwater midnight comes Bryce Flint-Sommerville's new play, Breaching.

This is a play that is set inside the stomach of a whale.

Evan and Dan have been swallowed — along with a sofa, a toy piano, and a couple of torn seines — in a perfect metaphor for two parasites in limbo. While they struggle to remember the world outside and a time before, they struggle to forget that they are locked inside of a whale. Strangers with opposing whims and opinions when it comes to everything, they are beyond attempting to humor one another, having been dragged down to a place where even something as mundane as "C. Thomas Howell!" can be considered a major breakthrough.

In a vacuum where nothing ever happens, they are waiting for something to happen. Wracked with a longing to return to the surface they act out their fantasies of calling the phone company to complain or they stage shadow-puppet diner scenes with pieces of refuse that they have fashioned in to a slice of pie and a cup of coffee. An existential take on absurd comedy, the closest touchstones might be Waiting For Godot and Sam Shepard's Cowboy Mouth — only there is no Lobster Man to save them.

Based on Nuyorican poet Pedro Pietri's eponymous work, Carlos Alexis Cruz's play A Suicide Note From a Cockroach is a witty circus of a soap opera about life in a Puerto Rican neighborhood of New York.

Pedro has been married six times to six dead women. His first wife was a kleptomaniac who dropped dead. His second wife was a demonic German woman who walked off playing a kazoo and then died. His third wife was an acrobat hooker who got shot. The fourth was always sick; she wanted him to sell his organs on the black market so she could have surgery. The fifth wife was some kind of revolutionary guerilla who made him do drills in their living room. She was so paranoid that one day, convinced that there were assassins stalking her, she stabbed herself in the stomach. After she died, Pedro swore he would never marry again…but then he met Kimberly, who died on their wedding day.

All of this would make for a pretty grim play if it weren't for the fact that the cast is made up of acrobats from Portland's Do Jump! troupe. The effect is a darkly humorous charade of handsprings and captivating social satire.

A Night Entitled ‘Desperation' — We Hope You Won't Miss These Plays

July 10-11 & 17-18 at The Imago Theatre — 17 SE 8th Ave. Shows at 7 PM. Tickets $8

More info at their blog: http://www.desperationpdx.blogspot.com/

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Pipeline Posse: Sasha Burchuk has been in Portland for nearly a decade and spends most of her free time reading and writing about Latin American politics. She is also passionate about dancing, theater, music, the arts, trespassing, fireworks, and whiskey.

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3 Responses to Portland Theater: Imago Stage Two Original One-Acts | July 10-11 & 17-18

  1. Don July 10, 2009 at 12:59 #

    Hey Sasha,

    Question: Ya think “Desperation” is cool to bring my 11-year old daughter to? She’s very progressive, not squeemish etc etc…but still? what ‘ya think?

    Thanks!

    Don Lieber, Portland…

  2. Sasha Burchuk July 10, 2009 at 15:15 #

    Yes, I think that you would both enjoy both plays! Have a great time.

    • Don July 10, 2009 at 17:53 #

      Thanks Sasha…

      Don

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