Joystick is a showcase for works-in-progress. On May 11th five women showed previews of their upcoming one-woman shows. It was surprising that in a format such as Joystick, the works-in-progress were as self-contained as they were and seemed to work as a whole. The five talented women performing not only did a bang-up job as actresses but also as writers.
Christina McGrath was up first and did a fantastic job as a Spanish woman talking to her toy dog, while using a J-Crew catalog to suggest a children's storybook of a man and a woman caught in a dilemma. The piece was extremely well-written and hilariously executed. McGrath was so committed to her character that the magazine was believable as a children's book.
Next up was Jessica Allen, who used closeup slow motion to illustrate stories from her life, most notably the prom. Allen was a great presence and displayed a strong command of the stage; she brought the audience front-row-center with her tale, and the pacing built strongly.
Nothing could compare to the trip that Rebecca Tingley took the audience on. Her portion consisted of three segments: diary entries, death of innocence, and "I'm not a porno queen." The writing was sweet, devastating, and funny. Tingley played all her segments with first-rate skill and emotion.
Hilary Kimblin showed excerpts from her one-woman show Gringa Loca, which brought us to Equador. She tells her own tales of being a schoolteacher; not understanding the rules of curfew, she decides to go out for a little after-hours excitement. By turns hilarious and scary, a well-executed tale.
Finally, Jamie Denbo portrayed a mother of a child beauty-queen contestant waiting for her daughter to come out. The piece was terrifically acted but was too short and could have used a little more developing. It seemed to skim the surface. Denbo's piece did however arouse enough interest to want to see the next installment.
The directing of each piece was uncredited; assuming each performer was her own director, never once did a performer do herself in. The production level (all uncredited) was low-end, but did an adequate job of bringing the lights up and down, with a few music cues in-between; nothing astonishing, but nothing distracting.
Each week, another work-in-progress is shown. Perhaps
you will be lucky to see an evening like the one on May 11th.
Although not complete, it did arouse an appetite for things to
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Copyright 2001 Andrés J. Wrath