Turn Out the Lights

Autograph-hungry groupies may wait outside the stage doors of Broadway theaters for Julia Roberts or Kevin Spacey to emerge, but playgoers rarely think about what happens to regular actors once the final curtain goes swoosh. Dutch multimedia theater company Kassys explores the post-show comedown in its part-video, part-live performance Kommer, and judging by the title (which means "sorrow" in Dutch) it's not all about bouquets from mysterious admirers and celebratory champagne. In the first half of the show, we watch the actors respond to a piece of devastating news. They wordlessly try to comfort each other, attempt to think practically, and go for walks to clear their heads. After 45 minutes, the live performance morphs into a virtual one. Video footage follows the same group of actors from the moment they finish the play that we've just witnessed to their dressing rooms backstage and eventually home. Our glimpse into the private lives of these thespians is as comical as it is depressing. One performer works a second job as an air steward and takes out her aggression in airplane restrooms. Another deals with his loneliness by talking to goats. Yet despite its meta-theatrical theme, the show is less about the harsh realities of a career behind the footlights than a study of humanity's collective desire for community and the grief we all face as human beings.
Sept. 14-15, 8 p.m.

 
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