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365 Plays heads to the Valley
I am that, you are that, all this is that, and thats all there is.
Remember Who You AreIt's week 5 and LA's only yearlong festival has finally made it northward into Burbank at the Alliance Repertory Company, a small 30-something seat theatre in the Magnolia Park neighborhood.
If you've gone to 365 before, you may have noticed a few plays repeat themselves every week. One of a man standing in the wind, another of trying to do 365 things on stage, but never accomplishing the plethora of tasks and a scene where two strangers meet. Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks calls these the Constants in which anyone can throw them at any point. Throughout these next 47 weeks, we may see them another 47 times interpreted differently by each theatre company.
So far, every theatre company has chosen to perform the latter mentioned Constant called Remember Who You Are. "My husband says being watched is part of being yourself," Parks told The Brooklyn Rail in an interview, "And you know why that’s so deep because he says we don’t live alone." In the Constant, a person is on stage sleeping when another comes up and asks if the seat next to them is taken. They awake and answer yes. Taking a seat, they ask if they are asleep and apologize for waking them while they do some activity (determined by the director) until they notice the other is sleeping with one eye open.
Alliance Repertory Company chose to do it four times, three of which, back to back. Unlike the other theatre companies who took the few short lines of text turning it into a 5-minute, sometimes 15-mintue play, Alliance presented each extremely quickly, but with even more impact than previous companies. Director Obi Ndefo's connection to the text of Parks is clear - he understands it and presents that strongly.
Those who live in Burbank or near should have no excuse in giving up a half hour to spend with this theatre company. Those who don't want to travel over that hill to see 8 plays in a half hour can also see the new 50-minute play, Westward Expansion, before hand. It's a great play too.
Week 5 of 365 at the Alliance Repertory Company plays December 11 through 16 at about 9:00 p.m. Westward Expansion begins at 8:00 p.m. It is located at 3204 W. Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank. For details, check out 365inLA.com
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