Epic’s ‘Rooster Play’ study in sexuality
Once again Kevin Broccoli’s Epic Theatre brings us a cutting-edge play. This time author Mike Bartlet’s often funny, always-tense play examines four characters involved in their own conflicting sexual identities.
We are introduced to John, the play’s central character (Johnny Sederquist), living and fighting with his male partner, identified only as M (Michael Puppi). Dealing with the fact that they are “fundamentally different people,” John leaves, only to return to tell his partner that he has met, and slept with, a (gasp) female (Lindsy Bissonette).
“Who are you?” M asks, but John really doesn’t know, having entered the world of sexual ambivalence.
As John struggles between his feelings for the two, his partner invites W to dinner, forcing a showdown, and hoping that John will choose him over her. To insure victory, he invites his father (Alan Hawkridge) who supports his son’s sexuality. There’s a lot of shouting, confrontation and manipulation as John is cornered into making a decision.
Kira Hawkridge directs the play in the Artists’ Exchange Black Box Theatre at 50 Rolfe St. in Cranston. The back wall has been painted bright yellow, with a spotlight centered on the characters, creating interesting shadows.
The characters move about the empty stage, using no props, sitting on the floor with backs against the wall, standing in corners (cornered so to speak) or lying on the floor. While the technique is clever, it becomes a challenge for the audience in the small theatre to always have sight of the actors.
The two-act play is an excellent study in sexual identity and finding out who you really are. Recommended for adults.
At Artists Exchange this Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors and students.