Speaking in Tongues: Un Bon Buffet!

Local Arts Reviews


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!

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Arts Reviews
All the Way
All the Way
In Zach Theatre's staging of this epic political drama about LBJ, the fight for civil rights feels particularly urgent

Robert Faires, May 1, 2015

Random Acts of Magic
Random Acts of Magic
The 2015 batch of Out of Ink 10-minute plays is a satisfying buffet of silliness and thoughtfulness

Elizabeth Cobbe, May 1, 2015

More by Ada Calhoun
The Orphan Trains: The Story of Charles Loring Brace and the Children He Saved and Failed, 1853-1929

March 2, 2001

Gynomite: Fearless, Feminist Porn

Feb. 9, 2001


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

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle