If you’re one of those people who’s been saying theatre needs to be more tied into the community, here’s the play for you.
Chloe Veltman wrote an essay for SF Weekly back in January that talked about the need for political works that “force lazy liberal thinkers to sit up in their seats.”
Tore Ingersoll-Thorp took up the challenge and wrote a play inspired by the article — but not in a way you’d expect. Rather than an agitprop piece, Tore put together a show that stars a playwright struggling to write a political piece, while her friends argue that maybe theatre isn’t the best way to mobilize people, and that maybe theatre should be about people and emotions.
I talked to Tore before the show last night, and he told me he was worried about the play being “instantly dated” since the election just passed. And, true, the audience seemed a little subdued and not wanting to laugh at some of the “no way will Obama win” and “Obama is only spouting vague words like ‘change’ and ‘hope'” bits that are there to tweak the liberals.
But I think the play is really more about the characters, the personal and not the political. So it’s not really dated; it’s instead thoughtful and actually pretty damn funny. If you go — and you should; it’s been extended a week, so you still have time — laugh loudly so the rest of the audience has permission to relax a bit, won’t you?
March to November by Tore Ingersoll-Thorp at the Phoenix Theatre (414 Mason at Geary), San Francisco. Extended through Nov 15. Tickets at sleepwalkerstheatre.com.