Review: "Mother of Smoke" @ Red Tape and Walkabout Theater / by Jerald Pierce

Mother of Smoke is a play born out of an acting exercise. It’s billed as a mash up of Chuck Mee’s Trojan Women and Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, but that’s not really what this is. This is a hodgepodge of ideas. This is not a knock on those ideas and it’s certainly not a knock on acting exercises. However, this play is more like a mosaic whose pieces all contain something interesting, but the zoomed out picture amounts to simply confusion. This was a group of actors given a topic to explore and through that exploration they created stories, movements, gestures, and loose dialogue around that topic. (If I had to guess the topic, I would say something along the lines of “feminism in today’s society.”) Then, anything that came out of this exploratory stage was pieced together for the longer piece.

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