Theater professors produce silent Japanese drama
The University of South Carolina’s department of theatre and dance will present a silent and slow-tempo Japanese work, “The Water Station,” Nov. 17 – 21 at the Center for Performance Experiment at Hamilton Gym.
The production is held in conjunction with Pacific Performance Project/east, the performance group of theater professors Robyn Hunt and Steven Pearson. Performances are 8 p.m. nightly, with an additional 11 p.m. performance Friday, Nov. 19. Admission is free and open to the public.
“The Water Station” (“Mizu No Eki”), one of a series of plays by influential Japanese playwright Shogo Ohta, explores his concept of slow movement and silence to explore human relationships. Through extremely slow movement and only the actor’s expressions, the play depicts the dramatic stories of several individuals as they interact with about a public water spigot in a post-war time and unidentified place.
Hunt says the extremely slow tempo of the piece poses a challenge for both the audience and the actors.
“The challenge for the actors is that they have to figure the phsyics of slow movement while keeping the integrity of their characters’ emotional journeys,” she explained.
Pearson calls it “hyper-realism.”
“The interesting thing about watching the play is that is shows human beings at a bare, essential place,” he said. “It’s a little severe, but it shows how the human spirit insists on continuing. It’s also fascinating to see what happens to the audience, as they are challenged to change their sense of time.”
Appearing in the production are Robyn Hunt; theatre alumni Eric Bultman, Paul Kaufmann and Gabrielle Peterson; students Latrelle Brennan, Sarah Crouch, Katie Krueger and Lin Ying; and actress Melissa Peters.
Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
For questions or more information, please contact Kevin Bush at 777-9353 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.