Museum! Do you immediately think of a building populated with interesting and valuable works of art? Or do you think of exhibits showing ordinary remnants of life in another era, another civilization, another “world”?
Tina Howe’s play Museum directed by David Long and playing at St. Edward’s Mary Northern Moody theatre through October 6, is a compelling look at the people who come to see an exhibit of abstract and contemporary “art”ifacts on the final day of the show. This satirical look at Art for the sake of Art is a pleasure cruise for folks who love to watch the odd ball people in the world, and who doesn’t like that?
One quickly realizes that it is indeed a museum, but it is we, the audience, that are the museum goers and the works of art are the actors from varying walks of life with varying attitudes and respect for what they encounter on display. Whether it is the basket of clothespins everyone seems to squabble over or the utterly blank canvas that most ooh and aah over, the audience quickly grasps the concept that the art is in those who ooh and ahh and argue about and respect and disrespect.
One of the things I most enjoy about seeing a play at St. Ed.’s is the extraordinary professionalism of the actors. Babs George and David Stahl are joined by Jarrett King to anchor the show, but the student actors are always impressive as well. They are indeed learning their craft well. This is always seen in
how the actors, especially the student actors, work “in the round” ever so subtly moving as in a beautifully orchestrated, choreographed dance to expose the audience to at least one actor’s face in a scene and then subtly moving to rotate the point of focus to encompass all of the audience.
The Scenic design is incredible and the installation art pieces that were commissioned specifically for the show are impressive and thoughtfully obscure, giving the audience one more layer to think through. The whole premise of the show is about Art, and what is Art? The concept gives the audience to people watch without being creepy.
The play is presented with no intermission, and runs approximately 90 minutes contact St. Edward’s Mary Moody Northern Theatre box office for tickets. Museum runs through October 6, 2013