The flexible space in Buntport Theater’s warehouse venue is totally reversed, with a cluster of stools and benches in the center and a busy, quirky set surrounding 360 degrees. Music is playing and a man and young girl are drawing on a wall with chalk in one corner as the audience filters in.
Screw Tooth is a new theater-based company which is sharing quirky Buntport Theater’s space this season, with plans to alternate original productions through the year.
Artistic Director Adam Stone, who has collaborated on music and special effects for four previous Buntport productions, writes of “exploring a mind against itself; creating, becoming, destroying, rebuilding, composing, consuming, childishly tormenting, reeling, reveling, dreaming and seeing … It’s a wild visual and sonic world full of horror, humor and humanity.
“Part theater, part dance, part installation, part question mark.”
“Some Kind of Fun” will provide a window into what to expect of Buntport’s new resident company.”
Concept, direction and design are by Stone and Laura Ann Samuelson, and the cast co-created the production with Stone, while writing is by Stone and Erin Rollman of Buntport Theater Company.
Several parallel stories carry through the 2½-hour piece, which keeps moving all around the audience, all at once, augmented by video, sound effects and music. Around them, we have a frustrated writer who wants to record the scene, but his characters are unruly and he can’t control the story.
Veteran actors Edie Weiss and Chris Kendall mostly stay within a maze he gradually builds. In a corner, a golden goddess and associates suddenly appear in one of many instances of satire. In a diagonal corner, high above the action, a Barbie-like model continually changes wigs and makeup. Stock characters — like a mother and baby, pair of girls, older wheezing woman, muscle-bound narcissistic guy, family group and more — live and, at times, suffer.
Enter the theater space without preconceptions and let it all roll around you. Too long, but fascinating to watch these creative minds at work.
I walked out thinking about the famous 16th-century painting, “Garden of Earthly Delights” by the Dutch artist Hieronymous Bosch, which depicts a swirl of folks and mystical critters in Heaven and Hell. I was lucky enough to visit it at the Prado in Madrid last year after an introduction years ago in college art history lectures. Unsettling — yet wondrous.