Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill
Next story: Artpark People: Artpark Retrospective at UB Art Gallery

Trace at Torn Space

Trace. (photo by Lukia Costello)

Trace, an original performance piece at Torn Space, written and directed by Dan Shanahan, is an elegant evening of highly stylized theater. This is the third and final installment of a trilogy that included Stivale and AREA.

Torn Space emphasizes the non-narrative nature of these but I have found them, on the contrary, to be quite obsessed with narrative, albeit in exceedingly abstracted ways. In this case Shanahan has focused not on the characters who populate his torn space, but on the space through which they journey.

The star of the evening becomes the exquisite work of video designer Brian Milbrand and set designer Greg Faust. The stage is surrounded by screens and scrims against and through which we see scenes enacted or images projected. Over the course of the evening, Milbrand takes us on a video progression through the four seasons, rain to snow, and back again.

The cast is marvelous. Diane Gaidry, Andrew Kottler, and Giovanni Joy enact the mystical scenes with little to say. As the play begins, Joy seems to be pulling a huge weight of baggage into the space. His life? His memories?

There is friction between people and alienation among them. A cake represents another anniversary, but little celebration. We pass through the space. The events are gone. We are in a landscape of metaphor.

For Shanahan, all landscapes are metaphors. His work is always poetic and visual stunning. Trace represents another unique theater experience from Torn Space. The production continues through October 9 at the Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle (612 Fillmore Avenue).