By Thomas Brandon
The Write Act Repertory’s new show Out of the Box (Series A) is the premiere production of the writers’ group “At Rise: Playwrights.” A series of original vignettes, monologues and short plays, the show is written and sometimes performed by the writers of the group. The second portion of the work (Series B) will debut in May. The current show is composed of nine pieces according to the program, although only eight played at opening night.
“Ask Pandora” by Susan C. Hunter is a monologue about the mysterious pull that the unknown has over us.
“The Control Box” by Linda L. Rand is a monologue from the technical director in the booth using only the stage cues as action.
“Bum Code Etiquette 101” by Rochelle Perry, is a short play about the culture of “bums” waiting for a handout outside a swanky club.
“Sunset Arms” by Elayne Heilveil is a strangely hypnotic monologue that borders on the smiling dystopian.
“The Treasures of Tierra Padre” by Linda L. Rand is a short play between two ladies who clean an office after-hours and find a gun in the trash.
“An Escape Artist” by Susan C. Hunter is the longest of the pieces. The story centers on a young pregnant woman who, while trying to keep her dog from running away, finds out that her husband is cheating on her.
“Born in a Box” by Linda L. Rand is a monologue from a non-conformist grandmother’s point of view.
“The Black Box” by Marina Gonzalez Palmier is a monologue eulogy for a deceased cat.
Taken as a whole, the show is to be commended for exploring a wide variety of subjects and finding ways to the link the material thematically. Unfortunately, the framework is undercut by the flagging quality of the individual pieces.
A Note of Warning: If you are sensitive to flashing lights, be aware that a strobe light is used during the performance, although this is not noted on the program or in the introductory speech.
Out of the Box (Series A) runs at 7:30 p.m. on April 20, 26 and 27 at the Write Act Repertory Theatre in St. Stephen’s Church located at 6128 Yucca St in Hollywood. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by phone (323-469-3113) or at the door.