SHOW: Animal Animal Mammal Mine
GROUP: Penn Dixie Productions
ATTENDED: Sun., April 14, 8 p.m., Underground Arts
CLOSES: April 20
A devised theater piece that grows out of extensive interviews with women who have inherited the technology of the 60s. It weaves these characters together with dance, projections, and the breathtaking hybrid sculptures of Martha Posner.
WE THINK: Writer-director Anisa George concocts a fascinating adventure, based on conversations with women about reproduction that were expansive enough to explore concerns about climate change and the nature of life itself. As with other works of this style (think Pig Iron Theater Company, New Paradise Laboratories, Applied Mechanics, and anything staged by Mark Lord), we're embraced by a dizzying variety of fascinating images, action, and sounds — most of them showing low-tech innovation, like Martha Posner's wearable sculptures — from an on-stage glacier and menacing animal activists to the giddy thrills of actresses singing while circling the audience on bicycles and discovering their capacity for flight.
Set designer Amy Rubin uses Underground Arts' basement space well, surrounding us and a deep, sea-blue playing area with eerie bare trees. Often funny while also surprisingly moving, Animal Animal Mammal Mine makes the question of bringing children into an ailing world real and personal, and balances that worry and cynicism with a hopeful message about life's resilience.