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Monday, September 10, 2012

Minuature Dramas at the Works

Posted by Alison Hallett on Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Last night's Works two-part program Miniature Dramas actually started on time, an event I was so unprepared for that I unfortunately missed the first few minutes of Laure Heit's charming set. Our photographer described it, aptly, as a resembling a live-action indie comic—hunched over her tiny world of paper cutouts, Heit told clever little stories about a tiger-riding girl and a boy who caught on fire (real fire! the magic of live theater!). She then pounded a glass of wine before launching into a segment called "27 pictures of myself naked," 27 drawings of a little naked figure riding a bike, popping, telling a secret, "talking on an old-fashioned phone," and more. Her miniature paper stage was projected onto a big screen behind her; it was fun to watch both the images on the screen, and Heit herself on the stage, intently focused on her tiny creations.

I was less captivated by the evening's second segment, David Commander's In Fight. The setup was similar—a live, small-scale production projected onto a big screen—only his featured a large paper-machÉ airplane populated by Star Wars action figures (Princess Leia flight attendants? That is someone's very specific fantasy, I'm sure of it). Commander's manipulation of sound and cameras was impressive, as he took the audience inside the plane, then inside the TV programs the people on the plane were watching (SkyMall's nefarious influence featured prominently). But while technically impressive, the we-are-all-passengers-on-a-crashing-plane subtext seemed too obvious, and frankly not interesting enough to justify the amount of effort Commander expended on the production.

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