17 November, 2009

friends pimping, part 7: creative fusion

One thing that gets me really excited is the idea of artistic mediums merging with each other. Currently on stage in Minneapolis is a show that both acts as art installation and theatre experience. It's totally awesome, heavy on the AWE.

Sandbox Theatre generally creates their shows from an idea, not a script. This means those participating in the production all bring something to it, eventually creating a performance-worthy piece that is a little more three dimensional than most scripted theatre. The official term is process-driven. An ensemble-created production lends itself well to experimentation and risk-taking, and Sandbox's newest work, .faust, is no exception.

Most people are familiar with the idea of Faust, even if they haven't read the story themselves. A brilliant man who makes a pact with the Devil to open up the universe and the power it holds, with tragic results. But when coming to this production, it's best to leave any preconceived notions behind. As it is said very early in this piece, A New World Deserves A New Faust.

In the Sandbox production, Faust's personality is split into three beings, each who explore a different facet. Depending on the persona, Faust is at anytime obsessed with apothecary and healing, sex and emotion, and science and the way the world works. The three actors begin as one Faust, and the act of their division is as fascinating as everything else on stage. The costumes and set both envelop a Steampunk aesthetic, merging Nature and Industry with total ease. Considering the time of Goethe held both the Age of Enlightenment and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, it's as appropriate as it is unexpected. Mephistopheles himself is a visual wonder that is both captivating and intimidating.

Why do I think people should see .faust? Because this kind of storytelling doesn't happen very often. It is at any point dance, performance art, music, sculpture and theatre. Constantly moving and always interesting to watch. They only have three performances left- this Thursday, Friday and Saturday (November 19-21). You'll also have the pleasure of checking out the Red Eye Theater venue- one of the coolest black box spaces around. All the show details are at their website or their Facebook and Twitter pages. Don't miss out on something terrific. Sandbox definitely knows the importance of art to one's soul.

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