Back in February, I wrote about a pair of unrelated shows (50-Hour Drive-By at ZJU, and Elephant Man at St. John’s Cathedral) that played creatively with space and time.
A Silver Lining, now at ArtShare downtown, doesn’t just play with space and time — it’s about them.
A Silver Lining runs through it. Where most plays present themselves to seated audiences, this one moves from space to space (I counted at least seven) through the dimly lit warren of caverns that once was a warehouse. And it takes us along — or sends us ahead, into the unknown.
At several points, where we wander — and what we experience — depends upon choices we must agree on, tasks we must complete,
or questions we must answer. A Silver Lining is not only “immersive” theatre, it is “interactive.”
The story — which we first watch, sitting comfortably, and then become implicated in and actively part of, less and less comfortably — involves characters who travel through time. They cross and recross their paths, disturbing the past and reshaping the future.
Hmm. Not unlike the way we at times enter a room we’ve been in, but find it’s part of a different reality than when we left. Or the way our choices create our subsequent experiences, but in ways we may or may not learn about.
A Silver Lining moves us through its worlds swiftly, with considerable wit and humor — but along the way, we encounter serious ethical questions. And we’re compelled to make choices where no outcome is certain, and none may prove satisfactory.
I’d like to say more. I’d like to praise a beautiful metaphor in which the two main issues of the tale become one. I’d like to describe at least one of the delightfully imagined chambers we find ourselves in, and who we meet there. But this is an experience of constant surprises, and I’ve had to give away a lot already.
What I can say is that we were a dozen adults, thrown together in a company, making our way through an experience you’d have to classify as science fiction (but with some serious ethical weight). Yet it also felt like we were children wandering open-mouthed with Alice, through Wonderland.
In creating A Silver Lining, the audacious young A Working Theater company has taken on an immense challenge. Their main resources are themselves: their imagination, their skills and their energy. With these and a fistful of shoestrings they’ve put together a unique and delightful experience — theatre as a multi-character role-playing game — that will send you into the night talking and laughing.
A Silver Lining, by A Working Theater.
Presented at ArtShare L.A., 801 E. 4th Place.
The Company: Mikie Beatty, Karel Ebergen, Madeline Harris, Shery Hernandez, Ben Huth, Matt Jones, Amy Kline, Kevin Railsback, Jessica Salans, Taylor Solomon, Matt Soson, Erika Soto, Vika Stubblebine, Emily Yetter.
Performances: Nov. 11th, 12th, 15th, 16th, and 18th – 21st.
Two shows each night, at 7:00 and 8:30 pm.
NOTE: Only 12 patrons per showing.