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Shooting Stage 

An intricate drama that explores the fine line between obscenity and art

Wednesday, Apr 20 2005
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Canadian playwright Michael Lewis MacLennan's intricate and intense drama explores the fine line between obscenity and art. MacLennan oversees the collision of two story lines: those of Len, a professional photographer, standing trial for exhibiting a voyeuristic photograph of a teenage boy wearing a dress, and teenager Elliot, an aspiring photographer and bird enthusiast, whose penchant for wearing women's clothes frequently gets him into trouble at school. With a plot conspicuously void of female characters (including an absent sister, an offstage date, and a dead mother and wife), Shooting Stage provides meaty roles for all five male actors. Brady M. Woolery (Derrick), Patrick Alparone (Ivan), and Greg Ayers (Elliot) create sharply rendered portraits of the play's trio of homespun adolescent boys; as Len and Malcolm, Catz Forsman and Woody Taft, respectively, expose the vulnerabilities of their two fortysomethings incisively. Although the play veers into the terrain of melodrama on one or two occasions, Dan Oliverio's carefully paced direction reveals the story and characters by increments, like a photograph slowly developing in a dark room.

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Chloe Veltman

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