By Sarah Kane; Directed by Sarah M. Chichester
Produced by Black Note Theatre
Part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity
Off Off Broadway, Play Revival
Runs through 7.11.15
The Paradise Factory, Downstairs Theatre, 64 East 4th Street
by Shoshana Roberts on 6.23.15
BOTTOM LINE: A fast paced demonstration of uncensored desire and pain.
“Have you ever raped anyone?... Why not?" “Poetry is language for its own sake.” “I feel nothing” “I fucking miss you... I miss fucking you.” So much strangeness and such raw emotions come into play in Sarah Kane's Crave. There are no props and there is no set. All that is onstage with A (Sarah Sutiff), B (Eric Campos), C (Jazmyn Arroyo), and M (Janelle Zapata) is a line of fabric on the floor cutting the space in half diagonally.
Crave takes a look at what people are torn between. Yes, there are inappropriate relationships, but it is hard to distinguish when the victim is under the impression that it is something they desire. Going back and forth between love and starting a family soon turns to discussing rape.
Kane's words are uninhibited and unrelenting. Unapologetic yelling and yearning remarks barrage the audience. I felt quite uncomfortable having two people being intimate at my feet at times, but the situation definitely fell in line with the show's energy. It took some concentration, but once I accepted the ambiguity of the nameless characters and disjointed phrases I enjoyed the unbridled hecticness. Rape, suicide, pedophilia, and other painful topics make up this alarming conglomerate of thoughts. With everyone speaking in riddles I often felt like I was missing something, but the all encompassing themes of yes/no, express/contain, up/down, leave/stay keep the characters' desperation and purpose constant and interesting.
Director Sarah M. Chichester definitely makes strong choices with her perspective, but it did take me effort to follow along. With focus shifting constantly from one couple to the other I did not want to miss anything. The pace is like a boulder rolling down a steep hill and it never slows down. It is nice running on top of the stone, but I felt like the rock rolled over me a few times before I could get back up.
(Crave plays at The Paradise Factory in the downstairs theater, 64 East 4th Street, through July 11, 2015. Performances are Friday 6/26 at 5:45, Friday 7/3 at 9, Monday 7/6 at 5, and Saturday 7/11 at 12. Tickets are $18 and are available at planetconnections.org.)