Suspended - Rorschach Fest

Critics

LemonMeter

55 %

Reviews: 10

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Perception is everything. Open Fist Theatre Company opens its 30th anniversary season with three programs of short works, performed in rotating repertory, by playwrights renowned for pushing the boundaries of theatrical invention. Inkblot A: Ghosts, an evocation of the afterlife written and directed by legendary new theater-maker/playwright/monologist John O'Keefe; Inkblot B: Landscape, Harold Pinter’s hypnotic portrait of loneliness in a long-term marriage, coupled with Never Swim Alone, a slyly witty, unexpectedly suspenseful landmark of the Canadian theater by Daniel MacIvor; Inkblot C: Two plays by Caryl Churchill: This Is A Chair juxtaposes momentous news headlines with scenes of everyday life to sometimes funny, sometimes chilling effect, and Here We Go is an unsentimental exploration of the final stages of life and the mysterious moments that follow in the great unknown. Single Inkblot tickets as well as two- and three-Inkblot packages available. Feb. 14 – April 5: Open Fist Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90039; $25-$50; (323) 882-6912; www.openfist.org.

Reviews

Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

“Rorschach Fest—Inkblot C” at Open Fist Theatre

Over its thirty-year existence Open Fist Theatre Company has produced a lot of bold theatre in Los Angeles, new plays and revivals. Its annual Christmas delight, Both, a musical retelling of the Christmas story set to the tunes of the Beatles, is simply brilliant. Other recent hits are Under Milk Wood, Dancing at Lunasa, and the hilarious, over-the-top joy of Neil Simon’s Musical Fools. Its current production, Rorschach Fest, consists of five short plays performed in nonconsecutive rotating rep over an eight-week run and cleverly entitled, Inkblot A, Inkblot B, and Inkblot C.

sour - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

Although it deals with the mystery and unknown fears of shuffling off our proverbial mortal coil, experiencing the resurrection of John O’Keefe’s 1981 counter-culture classic "Ghosts" is akin to instantly tumbling back to the early days of the artistically brave and unstoppable Bay Area in the innovational days of the Beat Generation; it’s not hard to picture this all unfolding in the back of City Lights performed alongside poetry readings by Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Mr. Ferlinghetti himself.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

John O’Keefe challenges an audience with the dark; no, not just dark, but utter darkness, a darkness that made this theatre-goer want to close his eyes. All there is to see in these black moments is the dim glow of florescent spike marks on the stage, an absolute necessity for the cast. In these extended periods of darkness, the six extraordinary performers give a choral rendition of the words and sounds of the self-aware dead, whose overlapping poetic cacophony of voices are heard coming from everywhere in the small theatre, often seeming so close that one could reach out and touch the actors. These sounds are words, not zombie groans. They have meaning for each of the characters that emerge when some light lets the audience see the performers.

sweet-sour - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman

Under Demson’s direction, the acting, presented on a spare set (Jan Munroe) is able but uninvolving: The piece is fragmented and the individual segments don’t begin to approach a catharsis.

sweet-sour - Deborah Klugman - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema

Theater isn’t just what it brings to us, it’s also what we bring to it. At least, that’s the general idea behind Open Fist Theatre Company’s Rorschach Fest, a series of five experimental one-act plays from risk-taking playwrights: John O’Keefe, Harold Pinter, Daniel MacIvor, and Caryl Churchill. These shorts get divided among three separately-priced programs (Inkblots) playing in repertory at Atwater Village Theatre for Open Fist’s 30th Anniversary Season. Reviewed here are Inkblots “A” and “B” – or as I see them, two “ink splats” (Ghosts and Landscape) followed by one “ink-credible” short (Never Swim Alone).

sweet-sour - Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

“Rorschach Fest—Inkblot B” at Open Fist Theatre

The valuable and venerable Open Fist Theatre Company opens its 30th Anniversary season with Rorschach Fest, a series of unique plays by playwrights known and little known. The performances are cataloged as Inkblot A, Inkblot B, and Inkblot C, and require the committed theatre-goer to return to the Atwater Village Theatre three times to experience the entire festival. My fraught schedule wouldn’t allow me to attend the performances in alphabetical order, so let’s begin with Inkblot B, which features Landscape by Harold Pinter and Never Swim Alone by Daniel MacIvor.

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Avatar

Meshing some awesome performances with some misfires is typical of most small L.A. Theatre, but this feels like a reading without scripts.

sour - Tony Frankel - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Matt Ritchey

There will always be new patrons of the theater who will see a production like this for the first time and be mesmerized by the possibilities of a blank space, but for the most part, this was an unnecessary restaging of material that has become cliché to the point of parody. If it was a new take or had updated production values or even a new project with similar themes, the piece could remain relevant, but Ghosts is no longer an experimental piece. We received the results long ago and testing the same material again has merely led to outdated conclusions.

sour - Matt Ritchey - Gia On the Move - ...read full review


Avatar

...in today’s media landscape where every visual and audible aspect is played out as an anything goes-esque motif, these plays as depicted are a welcomed relief to those other notions that could be seen between something that’s genus quirk, or as an “I-don’t-get-it” method of theater! Whatever the case, each selection seen within this series passes the inkblot test–permanent ink stains and all!

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review


Avatar

Applause to Martha Demson and The Open Fist for this ongoing exploration of the type of theatre that informs and inspires us to look beyond an evening's 'entertainment' to the art and craft of experience that calls for discussion and an exchange of ideas.

Do NOT miss this show! Brilliant text and brilliant performances!

sweet - Michael Sheehan - On Stage Los Angeles - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

“Rorschach Fest—Inkblot C” at Open Fist Theatre

Over its thirty-year existence Open Fist Theatre Company has produced a lot of bold theatre in Los Angeles, new plays and revivals. Its annual Christmas delight, Both, a musical retelling of the Christmas story set to the tunes of the Beatles, is simply brilliant. Other recent hits are Under Milk Wood, Dancing at Lunasa, and the hilarious, over-the-top joy of Neil Simon’s Musical Fools. Its current production, Rorschach Fest, consists of five short plays performed in nonconsecutive rotating rep over an eight-week run and cleverly entitled, Inkblot A, Inkblot B, and Inkblot C.

sour - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

Although it deals with the mystery and unknown fears of shuffling off our proverbial mortal coil, experiencing the resurrection of John O’Keefe’s 1981 counter-culture classic "Ghosts" is akin to instantly tumbling back to the early days of the artistically brave and unstoppable Bay Area in the innovational days of the Beat Generation; it’s not hard to picture this all unfolding in the back of City Lights performed alongside poetry readings by Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Mr. Ferlinghetti himself.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

John O’Keefe challenges an audience with the dark; no, not just dark, but utter darkness, a darkness that made this theatre-goer want to close his eyes. All there is to see in these black moments is the dim glow of florescent spike marks on the stage, an absolute necessity for the cast. In these extended periods of darkness, the six extraordinary performers give a choral rendition of the words and sounds of the self-aware dead, whose overlapping poetic cacophony of voices are heard coming from everywhere in the small theatre, often seeming so close that one could reach out and touch the actors. These sounds are words, not zombie groans. They have meaning for each of the characters that emerge when some light lets the audience see the performers.

sweet-sour - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman

Under Demson’s direction, the acting, presented on a spare set (Jan Munroe) is able but uninvolving: The piece is fragmented and the individual segments don’t begin to approach a catharsis.

sweet-sour - Deborah Klugman - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema

Theater isn’t just what it brings to us, it’s also what we bring to it. At least, that’s the general idea behind Open Fist Theatre Company’s Rorschach Fest, a series of five experimental one-act plays from risk-taking playwrights: John O’Keefe, Harold Pinter, Daniel MacIvor, and Caryl Churchill. These shorts get divided among three separately-priced programs (Inkblots) playing in repertory at Atwater Village Theatre for Open Fist’s 30th Anniversary Season. Reviewed here are Inkblots “A” and “B” – or as I see them, two “ink splats” (Ghosts and Landscape) followed by one “ink-credible” short (Never Swim Alone).

sweet-sour - Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

“Rorschach Fest—Inkblot B” at Open Fist Theatre

The valuable and venerable Open Fist Theatre Company opens its 30th Anniversary season with Rorschach Fest, a series of unique plays by playwrights known and little known. The performances are cataloged as Inkblot A, Inkblot B, and Inkblot C, and require the committed theatre-goer to return to the Atwater Village Theatre three times to experience the entire festival. My fraught schedule wouldn’t allow me to attend the performances in alphabetical order, so let’s begin with Inkblot B, which features Landscape by Harold Pinter and Never Swim Alone by Daniel MacIvor.

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Avatar

Meshing some awesome performances with some misfires is typical of most small L.A. Theatre, but this feels like a reading without scripts.

sour - Tony Frankel - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Matt Ritchey

There will always be new patrons of the theater who will see a production like this for the first time and be mesmerized by the possibilities of a blank space, but for the most part, this was an unnecessary restaging of material that has become cliché to the point of parody. If it was a new take or had updated production values or even a new project with similar themes, the piece could remain relevant, but Ghosts is no longer an experimental piece. We received the results long ago and testing the same material again has merely led to outdated conclusions.

sour - Matt Ritchey - Gia On the Move - ...read full review


Avatar

...in today’s media landscape where every visual and audible aspect is played out as an anything goes-esque motif, these plays as depicted are a welcomed relief to those other notions that could be seen between something that’s genus quirk, or as an “I-don’t-get-it” method of theater! Whatever the case, each selection seen within this series passes the inkblot test–permanent ink stains and all!

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review


Avatar

Applause to Martha Demson and The Open Fist for this ongoing exploration of the type of theatre that informs and inspires us to look beyond an evening's 'entertainment' to the art and craft of experience that calls for discussion and an exchange of ideas.

Do NOT miss this show! Brilliant text and brilliant performances!

sweet - Michael Sheehan - On Stage Los Angeles - ...read full review