Do you enjoy apocalypse scenarios? But, no, not just one at a time. Do you want to watch eleven different apocalypse scenarios in the span of two hours? Are you just an ardent fan of symbolism? Do you yearn to watch an unbelievably unique play? Even if you answered no to all three questions, you should still head over to the PW Downspace to watch Evan Silver ’16‘s 11 Apocalypses (showing on Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., Sunday at 8 p.m., and Monday at 8 p.m.).
If I still haven’t convinced you, read on for a few more specific reasons to go.
- The Apocalypses
Influenced by old stories and archetypes, Silver crafts a delicately intricate multiverse of eleven separate worlds. The storylines are extremely diverse: a millennial trapped at sea, a woman struggling to answer big questions after the rapture, and a man finding himself obsessively entranced in jazz. My personal favorite apocalypses were Sandy’s (BlogDH staffer Jessica Steans-Gail ‘16) hilariously loopy disillusions while trapped in a freezer and Minden’s (Jesse Weil ‘16) tender, yet excitingly tense interactions with Candace, a robot. However, it would be unjust not to applaud the force of Eve’s (Ellie Gravitte ‘17) and Jupiter’s (Katherine Doherty ‘16) explosive performances in which viewers are struck by the suffocating desperation and complex spectrum of human emotions behind their words.
The second half of the play becomes even more exhilarating when these worlds begin to collapse upon each other. The connections that span the universe add these wonderful layers that add even more of the delicious complexity Silver treats us with. I recommend keeping an eye out for the cosmic leaps of Jenny (Marion Wellington ‘16) whose resulting interactions prove herself to be a talented actress who adapts extremely well to a variety of different situations.
11 Apocalypses is definitely enjoyable thanks to viewers’ unique ability to dip in and out of a variety of different worlds, but it is also difficult to watch characters grapple with notions of death, loneliness, and mental illness. However, it is also undeniable that these difficult matters make the play as great as it is.
2. The Music
The musicians, comprised of Ryan Segur ’17 on violin, Aaron Whiman RISD ’17 on percussion, and Sam Levine ’18 on bass, cello, and guitar, add so much texture to the play. There’s a certain kind of richness in the sound that reverberates in the intimate setting of the PW Downspace. The dialogue, when incorporated with the velvet sound, gives the play even more dimension. For example, the discordant noise that arises in conjunction with the Fates (Marli Scharlin ‘16, Andy Colpitts ‘16, Jason Roth ‘17) cutting the strings makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand straight up and makes moments of silence, deafening.
In addition, the music by the cast is fantastic as well. My favorite songs were “Mama Was Wrong,” “Wading,” and “Birth of Flame,” because they struck the perfect balance of being absolutely lovely and endearing, but also ripping my heart out and stomping on it.
3. The Masks
The Fates (Marli Scharlin ‘16, Andy Colpitts ‘16, Jason Roth ‘17) wear gorgeous masks (in fact, cast individually) throughout the play. Thanks to Audie Fierberg ‘15.5 who did mask design for the show, viewers are treated to some wonderful artistry: from the creepy doll mask that looks like it was broken off of a porcelain doll to the sea dinosaur mask made of beautifully vibrant turquoise and copper feathers to the super cool light up mask Claudia wears.
Check this show out for yourself!
Images via Danielle Perelman ’17.