Review by: Christopher Taylor
Tucked into the UNT neighborhoods, round about Malone and Scripture, there’s a building that one does not usually notice. Past the shadows on Jagoe, past Mr. Chopsticks (unless you need pre-show nosh), sandwiched behind a large tree that shades the entrance lies Green Space Arts Collective. The only reason that I know it is there is because I have had the pleasure of rehearsing, performing and viewing work done by any one of a number of bootstrapping theatre companies that perform outside of the gaze of your average theatre goer in Denton. This weekend, you will have two opportunities to see what Sundown Collaborative Theatre, one of the longest lasting independent theatre companies in Denton, is calling We’ve Done It Again: A Mixtape.
If you’ve studied your Shakespeare like good little boys and girls, you know that a green space represents a space where the normal structures of the world do not apply. This short works festival has nothing to do with Shakespeare (although Sundown is producing an adaptation of The Winter’s Tale later this year) and everything to do with defying the expectations of an audience used to being able to drag the scroll bar to the interesting part of the scene. Comprised of 9 short works, there is something here to appeal to all tastes. My particular favorites were John Goes to Mars by Jeff Hernandez, Role Reversal by Kelsey Johnson and Lizardboy Eats a Dorito by Brad McEntire.
John Goes to Mars reminded me of an Arthur C. Clarke story in that it plays in a world that allows for the concept of manned space travel to another planet without the need to explain exactly how it works. Hernandez focuses on the human element, the relationships and experiences of his main character to draw a larger metaphor for escape and through escape, hope. If this were an actual mixtape, John Goes to Mars would be “Space Oddity.”
Role Reversal takes a familiar genre and theme that Sundown loves, mashed up music with frenetic movement. A writer and character twirl around each other, controlling each other in turn until they come to a resolution. This might be the Tori Amos song on the tape.
Lizardboy Eats a Dorito has, as the title suggests, one character and one point of conflict. Despite its simplicity, Lizardboy (Robert Linder) captured the audience’s attention like nothing I have seen. Zappa.
I know. The music doesn’t all seem like it would fit together. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. What does work is Sundown’s commitment to bringing creative theatre artists from Denton and Dallas together to create something unique, imperfect, yet still beautiful.
The shows do contain adult language and situations so leave the kids at home for this one and come out to Green Space Arts Collective this Saturday or Sunday evening at 8pm to see what Sundown Collaborative Theatre has in store. If you see the show, make a night of it and head down to the Austin Street Truck Stop for post-show dinner and East Side Denton for after dinner drinks.
We’ve Done It Again: A Mixtape has performances Saturday and Sunday evening at 8 p.m. at Green Space Arts Collective, 529 Malone Street in Denton.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students.