The Bohican Theatre Company
in association with The Kiva Company
By ASHLIN HALFNIGHT
The Kraine Theater, 85 E. 4 St., NYC, September 30 – October 16, 2004
Directed by JAVIER GONZALEZ
Sets/Costumes MOZA SARACHO
Lighting GAYLE MacDONALD
Dramaturg ELEANOR SKIMIN
Production Stage Manager JENNIFER COX
Samcha – Jayd McCarty
Fex – Bryan Grossbauer
Gregor – Charles Socarides
Aveeglas – Jennifer Curfman
Iona - Sylvia Bofill
Ashlin Halflight’s GARROTING, about a post-nuclear accident resettlement zone, bears the distinction of being the inaugural production by intense newcomers, The Bohican Theatre Company. Launched as the fictional arm of The Kiva Company, Bohican has chosen timely material to make their debut.
Set in the Ukraine two years post-Chernobyl, the universe inhabited by the characters of GARROTING is unmistakably bleak. In the fictional world onstage, we find ourselves in desolate surroundings, and in the company of downtrodden Samcha, who is working on a government project. Dogged by supervisor, Fex, Samcha has degenerated into a sad man. Things seem promising, however, when a scientist, Aveeglas, joins the project, and a stranger named Gregor offers to volunteer assistance. Of course, this is exactly when things begin to get complicated.
The morbid project that Samcha has been assigned to is collecting dead bodies, taking measurements, and delivering them to the scientists for studies. The official word is that all of these tests have to do with an illness sweeping through the population in the aftermath of a great disaster. As horrible as this sounds, what is most ghastly in GARROTING is that the introduction of truth and reality is generally to the detriment of the characters.
The publicity materials described the play as somewhere between "Waiting for Godot" and a detective story. Following that line, I say GARROTING explores what happens after a "Godot" has arrived or as Pandora’s Box is being pried open. It is that time in place that exists just after curiosity has tempted the cat. Initially, Samcha seeks for no answers. He simply keeps on going. It is when Gregor arrives that Samcha experiences wonder, and joins the quest for truth. In the end, he may be left alone to live in a world without delusions.
A thought-provoking play, GARROTING is more interesting than genuinely riveting. Still, it served as a respectable introduction for newcomers, The Bohican Theatre Company. The company’s next production, CHARLIE MOOSE MAKES HIS MOVE, by Jessica Jill Turner, is slated to run in the Spring of 2005.
- Kessa De Santis -