do u no wat the HUM is?
In a city driven by phone calls, emails, messages, and the beeps, bleeps, and pings of constant communication, do you ever long for silence? If you’re anything like me, you long for it, but if it comes, there is a grace period defined by pure perplexity. How do I function? How do I cope? How do I survive when abandoned in a soundless void?
Theater Alliance’s newest production, Hum, addresses this cultural reality by placing us in a dystopian world of constant, unavoidable sound. Opening tonight, Hum is a brand new piece of bold theater by Nicholas Wardigo that challenges our normal expectations of storytelling.
The piece begins with married couple Van and Eva leading an uneventful life in a world filled with pervasive, lively hum that denies them – and the world – the ability to communicate verbally. On stage, this means that the first act is marked by wordlessness. (Not silence, as the hum drones on, but complete non-verbal interaction.)
It’s an exceptional piece of theater not only because of its use of the hum as a separate, invisible character, but also because it requires any director to maneuver a believable interaction without the safety net of words – which directors, actors, and audiences alike have come to expect to help them understand motive, character, and plot. Without words, how are we understand?
With only gestures and note cards to guide their understanding of one another (and our understanding of them), we come to accept this alternative world where the hum is unquestioned and accepted.
Until the hum stops.
Left without precedent and without guidance, Van and Eva are forced to interact in a completely new and foreign way. This is when we realize that while Hum is a piece ripe with social commentary, it is also a remarkable love story. We watch these two individuals attempt to connect and rediscover their relationship, learning to communicate and co-exist without the status quo. What unfolds is the rawness and beauty of a relationship.
The contemporary allegory, of course, echoes warnings of Orwell and Asminov. It speaks directly to our crazy, tech-dependent lives that leave no room for respite. As Artistic Director Colin Hovde explains, “Nicholas Wardigo has created a simultaneously beautiful and frightening world that runs parallel to our own. He asks large questions but has incredible fund in the process.”
I urge you to take part in this unexpected piece of theater and to keep Theater Alliance on your radar for such fresh theatrical perspectives.
If you can make it tonight, Theater Alliance is providing a special “Pay What You Can” screening. Plus, for this weekend only (May 17 through May 20th) you can get a $20 discount on performances by ordering your tickets online and entering the code “Hum” at checkout. Finally, students with a valid ID can receive a $15 discount on tickets on May 17th, 24th, and 31st. With this many deals on the table, there’s no excuse to go.
“Hum” is co-directed by Colin Hovde and Nathaniel Mendez. The show is scheduled to run May 14 through June 2 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, located at 1333 H St. NE. For more information on tickets, go here.
Short URL: http://bit.ly/KcsteK