How did an acting project created by two NYU students suddenly turn into an Off-Broadway hit that will soon be seen in both national and international tours?
“In the Continuum,” which Nikkole Salter and Danai Gurira have written and also perform in, dramatizes the HIV/AIDS epidemic through the first-hand experiences of an African woman in Zimbabwe and an African-American teenager in Los Angeles.
The setup is seemingly simple, as each actress alternates turns delivering monologues. There are few, if any, props or scenic devices. One may even fear that this will turn out to be a night of whiny, expository theater, as recently seen in “’RFK” and “Latinologues.”
But the humanity, honesty, and tragedy of both women’s lives are emboldened in what turns out to be a stylized experience that explores society’s demands, personal rituals and human spirituality.
Each character, in fact, has been given a full dramatic trajectory marked by inner and outer conflicts and well-constructed arcs. We, in turn, are compelled to analyze their actions intellectually but understand their decisions emotionally.
As such, what seems to be an unpretentious, down-to-earth drama is offering two great performances and one compelling work of dramatic literature.
Through Feb 18. Perry Street Theatre, 31 Perry Street. 212-868-4444. $20-60. Mon-Fri 8pm, Sat 3 & 8pm.
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.