According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Apparition: A Swing and a Miss

Apparition is billed as an uneasy play of the underknown. I definitely agree with the first part. Apparition comes off as uneasy in its own skin. Apparition does not have any clear goals; or, if it does, falls short of those goals and fails to clue in the audience as to what we are supposed to be looking for.

A non-linear series of disconnected vignettes and scenes, Apparition is not without its share of scares- however, most of these are the result of well-conceived lighting and sound designs. There are some scenes which are conducted in total darkness, however the material in these scenes is not strong enough to keep the audience in the moment, and the darkness turns from eerie to tiresome.

Two actors in the six person ensemble of unnamed characters show true strength in their ability to turn otherwise lackluster writing and direction into suspenseful, disconcerting theatre. Maria Dizzia, in her best moment, speaks to the audience, recalling a frightening night in a new apartment where she feels she is not alone. The story is delivered simply but with true energy and presence. T. Ryder Smith also brings the audience in with his turn in another scene, combining both humor and horror in one of the few moments that achieve what the play should be striving for: scaring the audience of its wits. Sadly, Apparition gets lost in itself – and it shows.

Apparition was written by Anne Washburn and directed by Les Waters. It is being performed at the Connelly Theatre through January 7th.

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