Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Stating a Preference

Last night as part of the DC Fringe Festival, my friend, J, and I saw Bartleby at the Historic Synagogue at 6th & I. This modern adaptation of Herman Melville’s short story, “Bartleby the Scrivener” was performed by the small-but-mighty Journeymen Theater Ensemble.

It was one of the more accessible-sounding works offered at the festival, and I’ve always loved that story (Moby Dick, not so much . . .) so I really wanted to see it. Also, I would have felt horrible volunteering for all of these performances and not being able to actually see a production.

The setting was small and intimate – the room was basically the social hall of the synagogue and was about the size of your normal house-of-worship’s basement, with a good chunk taken up by the stage area, the “back of stage” and the lighting and sound boards. There were about 50-60 folding chairs arranged around the stage area. When you walked into the spade, in the middle of the stage were about a dozen wooden chairs, stacked up in a rather jumbled and top heavy way, balancing precariously.

I really enjoyed the show – I have not seen a lot of live theater lately, and especially not in such an intimate setting. It was so fun and immediate. The play was rather well written, not too many dead/incomprehensible spots, and the acting was well done. It takes place in a modern office, and while very funny in spots, a lot of the situations echoed common office happenings . . . and the way the play was written, you noticed that it wasn’t just about Bartleby, but how people in office environments act and interact.

Going to the play last night has made me want to see even more events like this. I know that there are a lot of cheap/free theater offerings in this area, so lack of funds really shouldn’t be an excuse . . . although it is. *sigh* It also doesn’t help that there are only so many hours in the day to do all the things I want to do . . . and there is always so much going on!

I have to volunteer tonight at the Festival and I’m hoping that I keep on having positive experiences this week . . . I could really use a positive break . . .

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