Red Tape Theatre’s motto is “Awake Now?” and the plays they put on are all about pushing us out of our comfort zone. I’ve seen two such shows now, and my main feeling on them is: I want to like them better. The acting, the sets, the sound design, the direction–it’s all there. But they are so self-serious! Again, I’ve only seen two shows, but just glancing at the rest of their season, it’s all doom and gloom. Nothing wrong with using theater to shake people up a bit; that’s an important use for it. But I have to be gripped by the story in order for that to work, and instead I’m sitting there wondering when I’m going to feel invested in what’s going on. Here’s an excerpt from my play review:
As usual at Red Tape, the costumes (Izumi Inaba) and set design (Emily Guthrie) were a marvel of detail and atmosphere. The themes of small-town dreams, collective guilt, and American pride are clearly spelled out in this funerary tale, but the play tackles them more from the head than from the heart, and that’s where it falters.
You can read the rest of the review here.