(Chelsea, MA) One of the more terrifying aspects of climate change is its irreversibleness. Once the environment has altered, it’s impossible to get the world back to where it was. In Nicolas Billon’s 60-minute Greenland, we don’t only contemplate the fragility of the planet but the family unit. The irreversible change that befalls Tanya (Charlotte Kinder), her uncle Jonathan (Dale J. Young), and her aunt Judith (Christine Power) is smaller than global warming but, in the show, just as brutal. Continue reading →
One of the most terrifying things about dictatorships, dystopias, and police states are how they turn what is savage and ridiculous into what is mundane and even acceptable. Blood doesn’t flow on stage at any point during Whistler in the Dark’s production of Far Away. No one pulls out a gun or stabs another character to prove a point. With the power of playwright Caryl Churchill’s words and Meg Taintor’s direction, they don’t need to. Fear lay heavily over the show already; we don’t need any clearer sign things are uncertain and wrong. Continue reading →
(Charlestown) A system has been built around giving to the poor and helping the needy. Whistler in the Dark’s The After-Dinner Joke is a bleak comedy lampooning a culture that’s been created around charity: those who give to it, those who decide where the money goes, and those still in need when the giving is done. It’s a show full of pratfalls and particularly British moments of social observation. The titular joke, however, is overshadowed by grim realizations about human nature. Continue reading →
(Charlestown) Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good is not about the importance of plays but the importance of fiction—dreams, ambitions, and fantasies—to the downtrodden. The convicts sent to the Australian penal colonies in 1788 have been dehumanized chiefly by circumstance. The play the officers have the felons put on gives them the dignity they could not find in lives led as thieves and prostitutes in England. The whole thing is an impressive meditation on how art fiercely alters perspective even if The Charlestown Working Theater’s production suffers peculiar pacing and lingering pauses. Continue reading →
Trojan Women: May 18- June 2 at the Factory Theatre in Boston
Meg Taintor is the founding Artistic Director of Whistler in the Dark Theatre, for whom she has directed 13 productions. Also for Whistler, Meg produced three years of FeverFest, a new works festival dedicated to connecting adventurous audiences with young and vital theatre companies and artists in Boston. Meg has also directed for Mill6 Theatre and New Voices @ New Rep.
In 2009, Meg joined with other artists working in the small and fringe theatre scene to form the Small Theatre Alliance of Boston, where served for two years as President of the Board. She is now Chair of the Alliance Events Committee and a member of the Board for StageSource. Meg believes passionately in the necessity for a strong community of local artists supporting and challenging itself to do better and more exciting work.
Her regional theatre credits include the National Players, Rorschach Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, the Potomac Theatre Project and Washington Shakespeare Company. She holds a B.A. in Theatre and Women & Gender Studies from Middlebury College. (profile from website)
(Boston, MA) The subject of free will vs. determinism is a fun one to debate, a question that has been the bane of my ex-father-in-law’s existence for decades. It also has been well-covered in theatre and movies, including in the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. As this multi-leveled play proves, a play that argues a point must balance storytelling with its agenda to be successful.
Unfortunately, the fine storytelling and performances of Whistler in the Dark’s Recent Tragic Events is marred by gimmicks to drive home the idea that our lives are predestined. The gimmickry, from a sock puppet stand-in for Joyce Carol Oates to some shenanigans that mess with the borders of the play, would be doubly frustrating if it weren’t for the delivery of one of the best acting performances of the year by lead actor Aimee Rose Ranger. Continue reading →
(Boston, MA) A lone girl sits amongst the dirt and potatoes of this agrarian society trying to chase away birds until she can try no more. Striving for more than mere existence in a world controlled by tradition and an inflexible economy often seems futile in the Fenland. Whistler In The Dark compels the audience to exist and hope with the characters for something more.
As the women in the play sing various choruses to songs, one is struck by the pure beauty in these women in this desolate place. One also struggles with the evisceration of these women as they give their lives and their souls to the land. With the assistance of Danny Bryck and an enormous amount of concentration, the actors speak with the flawless dialect of the British countryside. Each cast member plays multiple characters in this dark landscape. The main plot revolves around Val (Aimee Rose Ranger) who is trapped between her obligation to take care of her children and a desire for a better life in London with her lover. She takes no solace in the vices of the other local folk such as valium, religion, dreams, or masochism as she is constantly pulled in both directions. The one direction that she would want to go in, to London and a new life seems millions of miles away.