St. Ann’s Warehouse hosts the 10th International festival, this time in their new venue, which is much the same as the old. Dark, clunky, steamy hot and way down in DUMBO, the magic of toy theaters once again triumphs over the challenge of attending these events.
As if dropping in from the 19th century, Deborah Kaufman unpacked her matchboxes and began her tales. Scenes slide in and out of and between large matchboxes. Ingenious rafts of tiny people are whisked in and out. The theme is mortality, and the main event is Buried Alive. A tiny mortuary waiting-room, illuminated by audience flashlights, shows an array of matchbox coffins, each containing a photo. The mortuary attendant’s job is to be sure these people are really dead so they will not be buried alive. Enlisting the help of the audience, Deborah guides them to shock, stab and otherwise try to elicit some signs of life. When we finally find one still breathing, we are thrilled!
Yes, 20 adults are really pleased to find signs of life in a paper picture in a tiny matchbox. Go figure.