That’s how I explain Theater Alliance’s rendition of “Mnemonic” by Complicite. While the word ‘journey’ leaves much to the imagination, it seems to be the exact intent-to paint moving pictures while also leaving enough room for others to finish their own works of art. The play begins with the stage empty except for a chair and large rock. White curtains surround the stage conjuring a spiritual feeling or maybe even a clear mind.
There’s a moment early on where the audience is asked to wear a mask (provided) and take their own ‘journey’ slowly through the layers of their mind. This was wonderfully done as it set a stage for the mysteries that were to come. I won’t spoil the show with the interwoven stories, but be prepared to give full attention and for them all to come together seamlessly at the end.
While this concept play can be enjoyed for its magical use of light, sound and human movement alone, Theater Alliance enhances the experience by weaving the several stories together, connecting them in a way that grabs and keeps your attention.
Carlos Saldaña was wonderfully captivating from the beginning to the very end – powerfully being the story as well as leaving room and inviting each audience member to join him in making the story.
Ensemble member Vanita Kalra said she enjoyed how the play touched on so many topics that the audience and relate to. “As a child of immigrants, this play reinforces the fact that when it comes down to it, none of us owns anything,” she added.
The play is full of constant motion and wonder-which connects humans together from any background. The fact is, we can exist without any knowledge or connection to our past, but we actually live once we acquire this information and take the journey of understanding how we fit in the grand (and micro) scheme of life. Mnemonic is this colorful journey. The greater step is when attendees begin or continue their own journeys of discovery once they exit the theater doors.
Notes: There is no intermission and long periods of male nudity. The show runs through April 9, for more information and to get your tickets (which are $40), visit here.
Mnemonic was originally conceived and directed by Simon McBurney and devised by Complicite. Produced by Theater Alliance: directed by Colin Hovde, assisted by Nora Ives, movement director Dody DiSanto, featuring Carlos Saldaña, Teresa Spencer, Michael Burgos, Elena Day, Vanita Kalra, Jonathan David Martin, and Jon Reynolds.
Sound designer Matthew M. Nielson. Lighting designer William K. D’Eugenio. Scenic designer Tony Cisek, assisted by Audrey Burek. Projection designer Patrick W. Lord, assisted by Julia Beu and Amanda Garnage . Costume designer Daniell Preston with assistance by Kateri Kohn. Stage Manager: Dan Deiter.