THE DEATH OF SAM MOBEAN

ensemble theatre · orgasmico theatre company · Ages 10+ · family friendly · flashing lights · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by BENJAMIN SCHWARTZ

June 14, 2019 certified reviewer
tagged as: surreal · wordplay · chalk

What I liked

Three things really stood out for me:

1. The theatrical and storytelling conventions that were introduced, including everything with chalk and switching clothing. These conventions were extremely inventive and highly theatrical.

2. Language. Both pretty, and gritty verse with a tuned ear for alliteration and allegorical passages. Very nice.

3. Imagery. The starry scene, chalk, snake eating its own tail. This echoed through many artistic choices, imagery in mind. Easy to take in.

What I didn't like

At times, the pace was a little quick for me, jarring and unsettling even. I wanted to appreciate the language even more. But this did create a particular effect that I feel would be lost if slowed down so this one really comes down to artistic intent—so this is not a complaint at all really.

At times, I felt like I was a bit behind in the details of the plot, the story, and trying to play catch up. This might be the “Lynchian” story structure + inspiration playing out here. Again, not a complaint.

My overall impression

To me, Sam Mobean is an alluring, abstract play conjuring themes like identity crisis, existentialism, and fate. Great use of the black box and several creative, unique theatrical conventions are established early on and used throughout with great success and excitement. I felt as though these scenes were best taken in by allowing myself to settle into the momentum and tone of the piece instead of trying to decode them on-the-fly. The most interesting piece that I’ve seen from Michael Shaw Fisher yet.

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