In 2006 Pulitzer prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks gave herself the challenge of writing a short play every day for a year. Full Circle Theater Company, a relatively new company has selected 46 of these plays to present with a beautifully diverse cast at the Penumbra Theater.
I love the concept, short plays that offer a glimpse into a moment or idea strung together and presented by a talented cast of actors. In practice I found that I wasn't a fan. I've been struggling with this fact, the disconnect between my enthusiasm for the concept and the piece itself for nearly a week now. As I've seen more and more theater I have learned what I love. One of those things is being transported by a story and a group of characters that totally engulf me in such as way that two hours just fly by. The very nature of short plays prevent this from happening, you are constantly moving from one story to the next.
Another thing that I have learned the more I see plays and reflect on them is there is a different between a play that is 'bad' (so far I have found very few) and play or performance that just wasn't for me. This is one of the reasons that it is so fantastic that we have the Twin Cities Theater Bloggers. I know many of them also saw the show and I urge you to seek out their reflections as a way to get a breadth of perspectives.
There was also a post show discussion the night that I went which I also urge you to attend if possible (unfortunately I was unable to stay). I always find them extremely valuable in helping me to wrap my head around what I just experienced.
365 Days/365 Plays is an experience. For me in the moment I didn't love it but as I think back on it days later I can't pick out one element that didn't work. The performances were strong, the transitions smooth and many of the short plays I really enjoyed.
Even though I don't think this show was for me I'm still glad that I went. It has made me think in a way that I'm not asked to do in my day to day life, which may in fact be what I love the most about theater. This show may or may not be for you, that is for you to find out, but I would certainly love to hear about it.