I got to see (and participate) in alot of great theatre this year. Here are five experiences that really stood out for me!
Mourning Becomes Electra (Rouw Siert Electra) by Toneelgroep Amsterdam
If you didn't see this show when it was part of the Goodman's O'Neill festival, make sure that if you ever have a chance to see Ivo Van Hove work, do not pass it up. This was a phenomenal use of multimedia that transcended the usually tendency toward gimmick rather than form changing. I was almost a year ago when Goodman brought Chicago all those amazing international artists for the O'Neill festival. This year and this season, it is certainly missed. Goodman needs to do that much more often.
The Seafarer at Steppenwolf
The story of the devil comes for his due has been done, and there wasn't anything novel about this approach. But, I fell for this story hook, line, and sinker. This simple well written tale about getting a second chance even if maybe you don't deserve it, made me weep. The right play at the right time. Not earth shattering, but still for me absolutely life changing this year.
Bound East for Cardiff (Cardiff) by Companhia Triptal
Incredible, environmental, emmersive... not speaking a word of Portuguese wasn't a problem. All three of the O'Neill Sea Plays they produced we well done, but from the hurricane strength opening sequence to the slow motion falling down stairwells, to the final breath, excellent storytelling.
Maria's Field by TUTA
A Fairy Tale for the stage, I was more charmed by this story of three women and a cow looking for the husbands lost in war so many years ago then any other play in a long time. I want more fairy tales onstage, especially if they are done like this one.
Breed With Me by The Mammals
Uh Oh. I know I am asking for a serious ass kicking from everyone I know who reads this blog. I mean this is pretty damn arrogant of me. But, I am not apologizing. Everyone out there should be able to occasionally admit to themselves and their community that the thing that jazzes them most is something they themselves are involved in doing. I make the kind of theatre that I love. So, it should go without saying that this is one of my favorites. (If you are a theatre maker out there, I hope you too find the wherewithal to tell the world about what you do, and how much it excites you). I am very proud of the cast in this show. They make it magically and dangerous and put a majority of our audience on a razor's edge every time we've performed it so far. Not everybody is head over heels in love with it, but I am! And, I can say with certainty