Making Noise Quietly
A triple play of naked humanity
|Steep Theatre presents|
|Making Noise Quietly|
Review by Katy Walsh
Steep Theatre has a propensity for three things: British speaking angst, solid ensemble acting and multi-layered messages – consistently thought-provoking, not always completely decipherable.
Steep Theatre presents Making Noise Quietly. Three separate stories unfold in three different vignettes. The interconnecting subject matter is war, strangers, and pain. The overarching theme is casualties of war. Two strangers have a random encounter. A military man delivers news to a mother. A vagabond and his son befriend a rich woman. Three chance meetings lead to a lingering aftermath. Making Noise Quietly is a triple play of naked humanity.
If this show were a pool, Playwright Robert Holman first wades us into the shallow end and dunks our head. Next, he pulls us on a flotation device into the deep end and knocks us off. Lastly, he goads us to climb the ladder of a high dive and jump as the pool is draining. Each story progressively gets more intense. Every tale has its own unexpected twists. Under the direction of Erica Weiss, the human drama is authentic reactions to unusual scenarios. The characters are both real and disturbing. They suck us into their individual tales of woe. The entire ensemble captivates with genuine interactions that are naturally abrupt but unnerving. A couple standouts are Josh Salt and Craig Cunningham – for completely different reasons. Salt charms with sophisticated arrogance; Cunningham delivers a complex performance with misplaced ferocity and loyalty.
Set Designer Stephen Harold Carmody provides the wooden platform to showcase the drama. It looks like a cross between a sauna and the game Jenga. The organic simplicity helps the smooth transition into a different vignette and time period. And the interlocking planks symbolize the game in progress… which character is going to pull the piece that makes everything tumble down.
In the Steep tradition, Making Noise Quietly makes theatre disquieting.
NOTE: This production is suggested for mature audiences only: nudity and profanity.
Making Noise Quietly continues through November 10th at Steep Theatre, 1115 W. Berwyn (map), with performances Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm. Tickets are $20-$22, and are available by phone (866-811-4111) or online through OvationTix.com (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at SteepTheatre.com. (Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes, includes an intermission)
Photos by Lee Miller
behind the scenes
Erica Weiss (director); Julia Siple* (production manager); Lauren Lassus (stage manger); Stephen H. Carmody (set); Alarie Hammock (costumes); Elizabeth M. Patterson (lighting); Christopher Kriz (sound design); Maria DeFabo (props); Eva Breneman (dialect coach); Kristin Leahey (dramaturg); Ryan Bourque (fight choreography); Alexis Randolph (asst. director); Chris Renton (asst. production manager); Brandy Reichenberger (asst. dramaturg); Shane Goldbaum-Unger (asst. stage manager); Lee Miller (photos)
* denotes ensemble member