Cleveland Public Theatre always presents what I would deem ‘avant-garde theatre.’ None of the shows I’ve experienced would play at PlayhouseSquare, the work is not popcorn, or main stream enough. That doesn’t mean it’s not good, or even great, it’s just different.
I have never seen the expected at Gordon Square Theatre, and STRUCK is no different. The staging is non-traditional, you feel as though you are sitting on stage with the show’s two actors. You go on a journey with these characters, and what a journey it is! When we think of a stroke, we generally think of losing function, or paralysis in one half of the body. But try to imagine what occurs in the mind of the stroke victim during the event itself.
This powerful play attempts to bring to the stage the horrible confusion that takes place during a stroke. Tannis Kowalchuk, who plays the lead in the show, is also the writer (along with co-star Brett Keyser) and is a stroke victim. She wrote the play based on her own experience.
It’s hard to describe STRUCK in a few short paragraphs. The show is, at times, just as confusing as the trauma it represents. There are also moments when I laughed out loud, and had no idea why. The presentation consists of projections, curtains, a versatile table, an eye-catching aurora borealis effect and perfect sound and lighting. STRUCK comes across as an exceptional piece of literature that also happens to be a show. It is definitely an interesting night of theatre that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.
STRUCK runs through April 6th in the Gordon Square Arts District. Tickets and info at CPTOnline.org.