Photo by Don Kellogg

Monday, May 16, 2016

White Rabbit Red Rabbit

Quite possibly one of the most mysterious, unique, and highly secretive show running today, White Rabbit Red Rabbit, for the un-initiated, is a play performed sight-unseen by an actor only once.  The script is handed to the actor on the stage and off-we-go.  Now there's no preventing anyone from googling the show and figuring out the premise and general plot.  Heck, I'm sure there is a full transcript out on the Internet somewhere.

No spoilers here.  But my advice to you is to go see someone you like.  Someone who is a fairly good story teller and can handle the spontaneity of interacting with the audience and reading at the same time.  I would imagine the producers (Tom Kirdahy and Devlin Elliott) pre-select for these qualities - but it is up to you to choose someone you really want to see read you a story.  

My chosen actor was the adorable and lovable David Hyde Pierce and I regret nothing.  Mr. Pierce was genuinely interested in the on-the-fly evening, did not appear overly prepared and gave us an enjoyable, engaging, and seemingly authentic read of the extremely unique play.

The play is written by Nassim Soleimanpour, an Iranian playwright who refused to do his national service so he could not get a passport.  Instead he wrote a play that could travel the world without him.  He requested a different actor do the show each night and that people email him about their experience (during the play).  His message in the play is one told through the use of a sort of science or experiment using white and red rabbits and after you clear through the messy script has a message.

The message is confusing, but potent.  The story is choppy and a bit messy and unfocused.  But if you listen carefully you can really hear a young Iranian playwright vigorously trying to convey an important message through an unsuspecting, un rehearsed actor on the stage with a little help from the audience.