Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre will present five experimental pieces written and directed by members of the acclaimed ensemble, March 6-23. The plays, in rotation, will comprise "Lookingglass Works-In-Progress" (formerly titled the "gglassworks performance festival"). They'll be presented directly after the current mainstage production of Laura Eason's In The Eye Of The Beholder, which explores how fear shapes the lives of women. The work was inspired by various texts from newspapers and magazines, as well as the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings. Beholder had been part of the Lookingglass Outreach Program in classrooms in 1993, where it received two Joseph Jefferson Citations.
The five experimental productions in "Works-In-Progress" are:
My Life In Pop, written & directed by Joy Gregory. A woman turns 30 and tries to find a continuum between childhood and adulthood -- is it pop music?
Hitching, written & directed by Eva Barr. The audience arrive as hitchhikers; the performers are drivers in this interactive work.
The Grail `97 (formerly titled "The Quest For The Holy Grail"), adapted & directed by John Musial. Set in Chicago, this mixed-media piece has bike messengers as knights.
The Torn Man, written & directed by Thomas Cox. A solo of masks, puppetry and projections, Torn Man shows a fellow on a journey to find his lost love.
Life Under The Fig Tree written & directed by Christine Dunford. An autobiographical piece about the healing that comes from forgiveness after an evil has been committed.
Founded in 1989, Lookingglass Theatre Company is a 17-person ensemble of actors, directors and musicians known for their energetic, acrobatic style of performance. David Kersnar and Heidi Stillman are the current artistic co-directors. Lookingglass' best-known member is director Mary Zimmerman, who staged S/M: A Dream Biography at the theatre in 1996. Their Arabian Nights and Notebooks Of Leonardo Da Vinci were both seen Off-Broadway. Director Eason previously staged dreaming lucia and In The Eye Of The Beholder for the company.
For tickets ($10-$16.50) and information on the festival call (773) 477-9257., or refer to the Lookingglass regional theatre listing on Playbill On-Line.
--By David Lefkowitz