Monday, July 25, 2022

Voiceover—Imago Theatre—SE Portland


“The Windmills of Your Mind”

    This World Premiere LIVE production is co-written, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mouawad and co-written by Drew Pisarra and produced by Carol Triffle.  It plays through July 30that Imago’s space, 17 SE 8th Ave. (off E. Burnside).  Parking can be an issue, so come early.  (Covid protocols in place…vaccine cards, masks required and spaced seating).  For more information, contact them at or 

 call 503-231-9581.

    Some inspirations for this production may be found in Lugi Pirandello’s, “Six Characters in Search of an Author,” in which unwritten or unfinished persona from a play seek out in a theatre, some author/creator to finish their story.  It also recalls from the age of Cinerama film-making, the movie, “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm,” in which Laurence Harvey, as one of the brothers, lies very ill in bed and is visited by all the little characters he has yet to create, begging him not to die, as that means they will never have lived. 

    And, one more reference, an excellent animated film by Pixar some years ago called, “Inside Out,” which illustrates how the many emotions within a person’s brain, all try to interact with each other, in order for an individual to connect with the outside world.  “What a Piece of Work is Man….”

    Existence is a complicated thing.  Just who are we, how did we come into being and just what is our purpose anyhow?!  We, according to one biblical source, have been given free will and reasoning powers, but what do we do with those “gifts,” if they actually do exist?  “Aye, there’s the rub….”

    In this incarnation of some of those dilemmas, eight characters appear on a bare stage:  Fiely Matias, Ariel Puls, Kellie Holway, Index Marcus, Isaac Ellingson, Jessica Curtiss, Emma Holland and Sean Bowie.  They are seemingly controlled by an entity called, Jackie.  He, at times, is their voice, always loud but definitely in charge for those moments.  Otherwise, they only can communicated with each other with a sort of telepathy, and we are able to hear them as ‘Voiceovers,” or a type of asides in theatre-speak.

    They do have one thing in common though, they are all dancers and, thus, express their feelings in stylized movement.  But are they truly expressing their emotions, or is someone else pulling their strings, like a puppeteer would?  And, if so, what to do about this grave situation?  But an even larger question teases our minds, as the audience is thrust into this proposition, too, and then this enigma grows ever wider.  Enter their world, if you dare…!

    Mouawad and Pisarra have charted us into uncertain waters with this presentation and whether we sink or swim is entirely up to us.  If to swim, it means we have to jerk our heads out of the electronic jungle of the internet highway, the all-knowing, all-seeing god for many of us, and actually examine, for ourselves, who and what we are…and what is real and not.  If to sink, it means, with eyes wide shut, drowning ourselves into the endless and contradictory by-ways made up of the cold, hard world of wily wires and condescending components.  This is a story of human development, in which Man may come up short but, at least, we must try!

    Mouawad has, once again, come up with a winner.  His direction, seemingly random, only means that he has lulled us into a deliberate slumber, only to startle us at the end (beginning?) when the alarm goes off!  And his cast is exceptional, each one creating a very specific individual.  And, choosing dance as their means of locomotion, gives their stories a fluidity that lures our imaginations out of the shadows and into working models of humankind, which should have always been in existence, anyway.  Bravo!

    I highly recommend this play.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.


1 comment:

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