Bobblehead Productions Presents

THE PLANK PROJECT

By JEFF WHITTY

Directed by ERIK SNIEDZE

The Kraine Theater

85 E. 4 St., NYC

(212) 206.1515 or SmartTix

www.plankproject.com

January 13 through 31, 2003

Stage Manager ALLISON DEUTSCH

Production Design DAWN ROBYN PETRLIK

Lighting Designer ERIC BRUCE

Publicity SPIN CYCLE

Starring

Nat DeWolf – Mike Doyle – Saida Arrika Ekulona

Jenn Harris – Lisa Jolley – Matthew Lawler

In this era of reality-based entertainment, Bobblehead Productions has thrown it’s own satirical hat into the mix with a spoof called THE PLANK PROJECT. Intended to lampoon well-known documentary pieces such as THE LARAMIE PROJECT, and of late, THE EXONERATED, this spoof, penned by Jeff Whitty could have been either brilliant or disastrous. Instead, it hits that middle ground called promising.

This wink at our bottomless fascinations for the brutally real, THE PLANK PROJECT introduces us to a pack of wayward New York actors who journey to Plank, Washington over and over and over and over and over again in an effort to learn the story of a fated, grossly obese, mean-spirited transvestite who, following an Avon Lady makeover, and an unfortunate encounter with Richard Simmons, becomes trapped in a well, inspiring massive media attention. As our anti-hero, the doomed Abby Storch comes to represent the desperate drive for "reality" that can turn even the most unpleasant, uninteresting person into fodder for artistic expansion, simply by virtue of having been a victim.

What the cast does well here is capture the self-importance of the participants in these sorts of reenactments. There are moments of anger and hysteria behind the scenes that one can only imagine are like to happen out here in the real world. There are events and characters that are created for dramatic reasons, but that sway the gut integrity of the piece. There are tensions among the actors, even as they are devoted to their ongoing investigation of the town called Plank, and one man named Abby Storch. Sure, the inspiration for this comedy are some works that were borne out of truly outrageous events, but that makes THE PLANK PROJECT that much more likely to be ironically on target.

So close! THE PLANK PROJECT, flawed, but still evoking a good laugh now and then.

- Kessa De Santis -

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