Saturday, September 16, 2017

Independent Players perform "Interview" at Elgin Fringe Festival

The Independent Players consistently bring great material to a fringe festival, the most off-off- of all stages. This year's feature was "Interview," a one-act play from the edgy 1960's America Hurrah trilogy by Jean-Claude Van Itallie.

What looks like a perfunctory job screening quickly becomes a fragmented montage of superficial banter, as a full cast of eight generic characters talk over each other and repeat empty formalities like a bad case of the hiccups.

The Independent Players present "Interview" at the Elgin Fringe Festival.

The premise doesn't become a plot -- it's just a cover for a brilliant subversive composition that assaults the dehumanizing effects of corporatism, mass media and technology. Each character will reveal a glimpse of authenticity only in a monologue or an aside to the audience, stuck between sequences of group cooperation that are singularly absurd.

The excellent cast handled the onslaught of words and cues superbly, and the action was on par with choreographed modern dance. Director Don Haefliger could not have done any better with this minimally staged piece, in which people become props in a corporate agenda that is increasingly devoid of meaning.

You must show up for an "Interview" in the large basement theater of First United Methodist Church, Saturday, September 16th at 4:30pm or Sunday, September 17th at 3pm.

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