Wednesday, July 25, 2018

19 - TITUS: Sweet Water, Silent Walks - The BAND Group - Rarig Thrust

Beginning as a "traditional" Shakespeare play, the story devolves into a dynamic physical staging told through the POV of Lavinia; to echo the plight she and other assault victims have with no one to turn to.

I was intrigued by the concept but unsure exactly how it might work.  Their Fringe preview sold me on the idea, howeverTitus Andronicus is one of Shakespeare’s nuttier plays but you have to admit it has a real kick to it.  Combination spoiler alert and trigger warning here, I guess (though if you can’t talk openly about a 400 year old play at this point, we can’t have a conversation): Among many, many other plot points, there’s the following - The sons of Titus’ enemy rape his daughter Lavinia, and then cut out her tongue and cut off her hands to prevent her from telling anyone who did it (among other secrets she’s also witnessed).  In the end, Titus ends up killing those sons, baking them up in a pie, and serving them to his enemy - their mother - for dinner.

Going from play with words to silent representative dance piece is a really clever way to riff off of the Lavinia character’s plight, and the ensemble on display in the Fringe preview looks like they can deliver on the premise so I’m really interested to see the full production.

Also The BAND Group interests me as a company.  Like similarly community-minded Uprising Theater, BAND (Beyond Acceptance, No Discrimination) partners with non-profit organizations whose mission connects with the subject matter in their productions.  For the Fringe show, it’s Cornerstone in Bloomington, whose goal is to reduce the prevalence of domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking.

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