The Rhinoceros Theatre Festival resently presented a collection of short plays by Paula Gilovich entitled Recent Events. The evening was inspired by events and storied taken from the news in December 2008 and include everything from the arrest of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, to the displacement of a family by a highway expansion project, and the ever crumbling economy. The plays show Gilovich to be a skillful writer able to cover a wide breadth of subjects while drawing them all together toward a unifying theme. Her cross-section of America presents a very sober look at what is going on in the here and now - something that theatre is not always able to do as our art tends to be a little behind our current events.
Director Dan Stermer does a wonderful job at interpreting the works and providing each piece with its own voice and style while not straying from the unifying thoughts of the whole work. He was also able to beautifully coordinate a cast of more than twenty as he never used one actor for more than one character. His final product is quite clear, understandable, and impressive. The cast too was surprisingly strong. To find that many actors for none too large of parts for a two evening performance is a feat in and of itself. The actors too have to be commended for their solid performance and for being unselfish in their performances.
Gilvoich has provided us with a lovely glimpse of our country in the present moment, I hope that she continues to develop and polish this piece and expand it to a bigger collection of shorts that people can pick and choose from for future productions. This was very relevant theatre and it was encouraging to see a standing room only crowd in attendance.
Happy Birthday: Eleanor "Nell" Gwyn (1650-1687) & Brent Spiner (b. 1949)