presented by The Institute of Contemporary Art/ Boston
Review by Kitty Drexel
(Boston) Jay Scheib’s World of Wires is a live-cinema presentation that utilizes the mediums of television, live theater, the internet, music and all manners of spectating. It is an exhibition that posits that human experience on the internet is both defined by and created through actual and simulated human interaction. The result is a chaotic melodrama birthed by an obsessive zeitgeist.
It is difficult to accurately describe the experience of World of Wires without using scientific jargon. The script itself can be as if separate scripted elements were entered into a computer programme that would calculate different scenarios based on the variables of character, passage of time, blocking, etc. What is viewed on the stage can be interpreted as a 2 hour presentation of the data resulting from the computer experiment. The production is a staged butterfly effect. It would be easy to say that the actions accomplished in 2 hours could easily be concentrated into 45 minutes but, in order to produce credible/reliable results from an experiment, the experiment must exhaust all possibilities of outcomes. That requires a longer running time. From a scientific viewpoint, it is fascinating, but Wires breaks so many theatrical conventions that it could frustrate and annoy even the most open-minded and educated theater-goer.
Wires is a combination of Inception meets Noises Off meets Peyton Place. The cast is both beautiful and extremely focused on their stage work. They do a commendable job keeping their characters, the splintered plot and the action under control. They are the glue that holds the production together. It certainly doesn’t hurt that their costumes, hair and makeup are artfully done. Regardless of one’s tastes, the traditional elements of Jay Scheib’s World of Wires are exemplary.