SPACE or The Number of Nothing

ensemble theatre · toll house productions · Ages 12+ · United States of America

world premiere
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June 22, 2017 stage raw and la bitter lemons original article

What I liked

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What I didn't like

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My overall impression

A rescue ship has been dispatched to the edges of the solar system in search of the missing ship Cressida. After going through an emergency simulation, the rescue ship Troilus’ AI AUTi begins to go awry, and communication to Earth goes down. Writers Lucas Dean Peterson and Ethan Leaverton have created a unique sci-fi story which delves into isolation and paranoia. That being said, more work is needed on the script. There are multiple underdeveloped characters and a superfluous love story. The most interesting part of the story is the ship’s technician Colby (played by Leaverton, who carries the play) and his interaction with the AI (voiced by Ashley Gong). The surprise ending is superb, but the play has plenty of missed opportunities leading up to it.

This is a play (and group of young artists) that have great potential. Darrin Bush’s video design is a highlight. Although Nicklaus von Nolde’s direction is efficient, I longed for more nuanced and thematic transitions as the play’s pace suffered from excessive blackouts. I hope Peterson and Leaverton continue to develop the script. They might also consider a production with a more mature cast (as it’s hard to suspend belief that these young people would be sent on a rescue mission).

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