These huge arts festivals can be overwhelming — how to figure out what's worth seeing? CP's sending someone to nearly every event PIFA's putting on over the next month to help you decide, so check back with Critical Mass all month long for comprehensive, ongoing reviews.
GROUP: Luna Theater Company
ATTENDED: Sat., April 20, 8 p.m., Adrienne Theater
CLOSES: April 27
BRIEF SELF-DESCRIPTION: Luna Theater Company journeys to the future with their second annual play festival, FutureFest. The world premiere of five one-act plays, FutureFest explores how our visions of the future inform our understanding of ourselves and world today.
WE THINK: In keeping with PIFA's time-machine theme, FutureFest offers five vignettes about possible futures. It’s hard to imagine such a premise without the dystopian societies and Dickian virtual realities we’re used to, and the festival definitely delivers in that respect. There are androids, post-apocalypse scenarios, marriage-counseling simulations, artificial organs and even “head sex,” which is much better than that sweaty, smelly, “real sex” we have now.
Oddly enough, it’s the show’s vignette format that makes it hard to sit through. Sci-fi inventions tend to work best when properly introduced, and then demonstrated more thoroughly, in a longer format, like a novel or feature-length film — enough time for a little world-building. At least three of the stories here attempt to pack so much unfamiliar terminology into so little digestion time that a lot ends up being incomprehensible.
Still, Luna makes good use of the space, piling a lot of post-apocalyptic junk onstage and colorful TV installations in the wall that give the show a more cohesive visual feel. The performances are spot-on, as well. Whether they’re playing familiar types or bunnies that create universes, the actors know exactly who they are and what they want, even if the audience isn’t so sure.
PREVIOUSLY IN PIFA: Philadanco addresses the Big Bang.
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