The Year of Playing Dangerously

Suzan-Lori Parks is either crazy or brilliant. Perhaps both.

The kamikaze spirit shows no sign of relenting. This week's productions, mounted by Katy Hilton & Company, will all be performed on one evening — Sunday, Jan. 7. Hilton's vision draws on her idea of the festival as "like a massive television broadcast with hundreds of theater companies tuning in simultaneously." As such, the presentation will include ample use of video footage. One piece is to be staged as a silent film, with subtitles and a live accordion accompaniment. The following week, members of foolsFury will spend their days jumping in and out of cars, performing the plays in public spaces like Union Square and Yerba Buena Gardens.

The Very Beginning: Week 1 of "365 Days/365 Plays," produced by Z Space Studios.
Clayton Lord
The Very Beginning: Week 1 of "365 Days/365 Plays," produced by Z Space Studios.

Details

Through Nov. 12, 2007, at locations throughout the Bay Area. All shows are free to the public; call 437-6775 or visit www.zspace.org.

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It's easy for doubts to creep into a critic's mind about such an apparently lawless undertaking as "365 Days/365 Plays." Is the gimmick factor too high and the artistic factor too low? Can such a gargantuan festival truly foster community? Will anyone even remember the sprawling endeavor past its sell-by date? I don't know. But no matter how haphazardly the plays are staged, the combination of Parks' imprimatur and the careening imaginations of the groups involved inspires confidence and hope in me that transcends skepticism. More than that, it makes the business of doing something eccentric over the course of one calendar year seem almost smart.

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