As your midtown events examiner, my job is to be on top of the best happenings in the area. I strive to cover underground arts events, which is like a catch 22- because they actually are underground. I.e.: hard to find, not in pop media, in venues that are not big and glitzy like the Power Plant trap downtown.
I overheard my roommate talking about a theater project she is working on. I pried, and found that there's going to be a progressive little show going on at this theater that I have passed by a million times in Mount Vernon, but never knew it was there- even though it's been around since the 1970s.
The Theater Project, located at 45 West Preston Street, is a non-profit organization that hosts original and experimental theater, music, and dance. This weekend they are hosting a visual theater project from Philadelphia. Called the White Box Theater, it's a vision of writer and director Sebastienne Mundheim. Her website says she has created 17 different performance pieces, including ones commissioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the University of Pennsylvania.
I've recently become a fan of performance art- for its unique ways of conveying feelings and messages to the audience. For example, last fall I saw a show at the Single Carrot, which had no speaking parts. It was an abstract interpretation of a sort of historical interaction between good and evil, where the characters were being challenged by good and bad temptations. The intensity of feelings it generated even caused men in the audience to shed a tear at one point. Visual theater features unique props, costuming, dance, and music, and can have speaking parts. But the idea is that the bulk of meaning is conveyed visually.
The play being featured this weekend, Sea of Birds, features paper sculptures animated by dancers, live music, and plays with light and shadow. The description from her website:
“Her story is about the power and pleasure of the storyteller. It is about the lessons we extract from encounter and departure. This story will parallel a child's memory of Eastern European and war with fantasy characters from an American child's imagination.”
This production is sponsored in conjunction with the upcoming QuestFest, an international two-week festival celebrating visual theater.
If you go: White Box Theater in Sea of Birds by Artistic Director Sebastienne Mundheim
January 28, 29, 30 @ 8pm; January 31 @ 3pm; February 4, 5, 6 @ 8pm
$20 general, $15 seniors and artists, $10 students
45 W Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-752-8558- box office
410-539-3091- admin office