Theatre Info for the Richmond region

TheatreLab Exquisite Corpse

By • Jul 28th, 2013 • Category: Reviews
Exquisite Corpse
TheatreLab: (Info) (Facebook)
Dogtown Dance Theatre, Richmond, VA
Through July 28th
$10/$5 Student, Senior (Plus fees)
Reviewed July 27th, 2013

I can guarantee this is going to be one of the most “interesting” and unique reviews I will write this year.

While we were waiting for the show to start, my guest for the evening, Travis, asked me if I knew what TheatreLab’s production of Exquisite Corpse was about. I told him, no. Now that the show is over, I can still honestly say I don’t know — and according to director Amy R. Surratt; that’s a good thing. Surratt said during a talkback after the show, that as a devised theatre piece, the audience members should each give it their own meaning.

Now, no matter how I interpret the show, I am proud to say, this old guy “got it.” In a series of skits, poems and movement pieces the cast is expressing their feelings on life and this mortal body — the exquisite corpse.

At times, it was like watching an episode of “Seinfeld” — a show about nothing. At other times, it was like a series of sketches from Monty Python or “Saturday Night Live.” Still other points were like my High School Theater Improv class, sometimes it felt like a 60’s Beatnik Poetry Club, and other times it was reminiscent of the musical Godspell.

Confused? Intrigued? How do I summarize? There was laughing yoga, interns watching a doctor operate with kitchen tools, zombies who had eaten gummy bears and yes, nudity.

As Managing Director Annie Colpitts pointed out during the talkback; it is TheatreLab’s mission to present things that are different. On this front, they truly succeeded. At times it was entertaining. At times it was intriguing. At all times, it was different.

Tonight is the closing performance, so unless you go to New York and see its next incarnation, which according to Director Surratt may or may not include some of the current actors and may or may not include some of the current material which was created in just two weeks of hard-core improv by the cast and crew, you’ll miss this unique opportunity. I look forward to the next production by TheatreLab’s summer workshop — Speech & Debate which opens August 4th. I hope you will join me there and support the unique and innovative work of some of Richmond’s developing young talent.

Photo Gallery

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Photos provided by TheatreLab

The Cast

  • Maggie Bavolack, Dan Cimo, Melissa Earp, Alex Eliades, Christian Hill, Samantha Kittle, Theresa Mantiply, Jeremy V. Morris, Arden Moscati, Emily Sargeant

The Crew

  • Director: Amy R. Surratt
  • Production Stage Manager: Annie Colpitts
  • Production Manager: Theresa Mantiply
  • Props Design: Samantha Kittle
  • Lighting Design: Addie Pawlick
  • Costume Design: Maggie McGrann
  • Sound Design: Amy R. Surratt
  • Sound Operator/ Assistant Sound Design: Joe Morris
  • Poster and Program Design: Deejay Gray
  • Promotional Photos: Lucy Dacus
  • Artistic Director: Deejay Gray
  • Managing Director: Annie Colpitts
  • Artistic Associates: Heather Falks, McLean Jesse, Melissa Rayford, Sarah Roquemore, Chanelle Vigue

Disclaimer: TheatreLab provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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is by day a Special Education teacher, teaching History, Science and drama to Middle and High School students in a private Day School in Stafford. He has degrees in Educational Media and Special Education. He is also a part time Radio News Anchor and occasional actor in the Richmond area. Bruce is a native of New Jersey and spent most of his "adult" life in Upstate New York, where he started and ran a national award winning youth theater and cable television program for over 10 years. He has lived in Virginia since 2002, and in Caroline County since 2005, where he is active in many community groups; including serving on the Board of Caroline's Promise.

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