The cast of "Shorts," with Kaye Weinstein Gary at center front (Photo courtesy KDance)
In "Shorts," Kaye Weinstein Gary and her KDance troupe enter the emotional undercurrents of plays through movement. They go through this challenge not because it’s easy, but it allows for collaboration and, “Nobody else is doing it,” she says, with a laugh.
It's the fourth outing for this particular project, and you can see this version March 24 to 26, Thursday to Saturday, at Richmond Triangle Players, 1300 Altamont Ave., in beautiful downtown Scott’s Addition. All shows are at 8 p.m. except for the 3 p.m. Sunday matinee.
"Shorts" takes six brief plays and turns them into variations of the form. “We use the spoken text and sometimes a little bit of movement and sometimes a great deal,” Gary explains. The type of movement depends on both the director’s preferences and the backgrounds of performers. “You try to formulate something that works for everybody — that both informs what’s going on in the play and also accentuates the best of what the performer is capable of.”
The ensemble cast covers a variety of stage experiences; it includes veteran Alan Sader, who, beyond his ChildFund spokesman persona, has assayed some great theater characters; along with Jacqueline Jones, Andrew Etheredge, Chris Craig, Kate Brady, Liz Earnest, Luke Newsome, Tricia Wiles and Gary. Directors are Billy Christopher Maupin, Caleb Wade and Gary.
A great deal of reading by three or four people winnows through plays that can be adapted to this method. Gary says that the language itself may inspire choreography, and the title often provides a key visual. Also, a director might just love the work and want to take the text through the process.
Among the pieces are a monologue by Tennessee Williams, “Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen," that involves two desperate and intimate characters; and “Green Hill” by David Ives, concerning a man’s single-minded physical and spiritual search for a perfect place that may only exist in his mind. Sader and Jones are paired in “The Long Trip” by Dan McGeehan. “It’s about a long-married couple, and the wife is beginning to show signs of dementia and the husband is trying to take them back into a memory of their courtship,” Gary says. Then there’s Shel Silverstein’s “The Garbage Bags,” about Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout, who would not take the garbage out. “Are You Ready” by David Auburn poses the varying views of a couple on a date and their maître d'; and a play designed for movement, Suzan-Lori Parks’ “The Plane On the Runway at 6 AM,” was one of her 365 play-a-day works in 2002.
“It’s about finding a right mix,” Gary says. “I have to be involved with each one whether directing or not, so I have to like the play and figure out how it fits into the whole evening. One may not fit for everybody. Some are a little more poignant and abstract and others more readily available to the audiences.”
Tickets are $20. For more information, call 270-4944 and or visit kdance.org.