Speaking in Tongues: Un Bon Buffet!

Local Arts Reviews

Exhibitionism


Speaking in Tongues: Un Bon Buffet!

ACC Gallery Theatre,

through March 11th

Running Time: 1 hr, 30 min

The little theatre upstairs at ACC is hard to find. Once in the building, one has to walk down the halls (dash down, if one is late) past many little classrooms. Unpleasant high-school flashbacks have been reported. Oh, the misunderstandings! Oh, the time pressures! Welcome to Speaking in Tongues, a selection of nine 10-minute plays written during a weekend-long Austin Script Works writing retreat. But this was no free-for-all. The Man (okay, some local arts people) decreed that each play had to include: 1) a flash-forward in the plot; 2) a character who (to chaos-inducing effect) speaks a language other than English; and 3) one of the four elements.

C'est tres difficile to build up characters and develop a whole idea en juste 10 minutes, especiallment con so mucho rules. So in lieu of whole personae, you get snapshots -- some somber, such as Monika Bustamente's For Brothers and Superheroes (directed by Laura Somers); some comic, such as Ron Berry's Il Grosso Nostosso (directed by David Yeakle); and some heartfelt, such as John Walch's Square Pegs (directed by Christina Moore). The plays run the gamut themewise: family communication, school memories, an uncomfortable road trip, an old age home, a stressed-out computer worker ... As a distillation of script-writing elements, Speaking in Tongues predictably comes off rather like a workshop. Still, o ye of the short-attention span, Speaking in Tongues is some palatable light fare. Thou who seekest a survey of the local theatre scene can see many of its stars here. All this, plus the chance to roam around at night in a mostly empty school. Quel pamplemousse!

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

speaking in tongues, austin script works, square pegs, john walch, christina moore, for brothers and superheroes, monika bustamente, laura somers, ron berry, il grosso nostrosso, david yeakle

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