Joseph Samuel Wright
The graduate production of "Stonewater Rapture," running Tuesday through Friday in the Clarence Brown Lab Theatre at 8 p.m., was different but wonderful.
Described by the producers as being about "sex, God and football," it was a piece perfectly complex and intriguing for its presentation as a rehearsal project. This means that there is no costume, lighting or scenic design; the focus of the show is on the acting. This is the first time this approach has been attempted at UT.
The emphasis on acting is definitely apparent in the performances of both actors. The characters are presented flawlessly and the emotions and interactions are beyond real: They are completely true. Both the hero and heroine are genuine to the audience and remain coherent in both their motivations and states.
To add to the performance, the script is beautifully written. There are connections to art and God, to art and sex. When they culminate at the end in a very powerful monologue, it's nothing short of amazing. The subject matter is difficult, but the play addresses it poignantly and with amazing articulation.
The show builds upon itself. Scene I is a witty tango between two characters that slowly reveals both the characters and their situations. It shows problems and parental pressures, as well as secret dreams and fears.
Scene I leaves the audience to ponder during the five-minute break before Scene II starts and quickly sweeps the audience away in its fervent torrent of both information and emotion.
Walls come tumbling down and with them truths are revealed, each one developing from that which preceded it. By the end of the play it is as if one must catch one's breath, but more than anything the show leaves the audience astounded.
"Stonewater Rapture" is one of those great plays that deftly and eloquently captures essential issues in society and explores them. Brought into question by the show is, not only how we treat people, but also what and how we believe.
UT's MFA program presents a great production of a great play worth seeing just because of its unique presentation (especially since it's free).
Production uses unique techniques
Published: Thu Sep 30, 2004 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 06:25 p.m.