Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Taproot Theater reopens with "The Great Divorce"

Taproot Theater reopens with The Great Divorce
Reflecting the promise of the phoenix on a neighboring mural, the Taproot Theater has risen from the ashes of a devastating fire on October 23, and reopened with a production of CS Lewis’ “The Great Divorce.”

“The Great Divorce,” features the narrative of a journey through hell to heaven. Originally adapted for the stage by George Drance and the Magis Theatre Company, the Taproot production features ten talented actors portraying 25 varied characters.

When asking friends to accompany me to Taproot productions, I’ve often found them to be a little reticent. One finally asked me whether the theater had any religious affiliations. I explained that, while many of their plays were family friendly and in terms of theater, fairly safe, I’d never felt an overtly religious tone expressed in any of the theater’s productions.

However, this most recent play felt uncomfortable and evangelical. No subtle message here, the point of the piece was hammered into the audience, like it or not. I found the particularly disappointing, since the recent publicity about the reopening of the theater presented an opportunity for the local playhouse to capture a new audience, not scare them away. Of all the plays I have seen at the Taproot, this was far and away the most overtly theological.

I have enjoyed many Taproot plays for the consistent high quality of the acting, the gorgeous costumes, and intimate feel of the theater without feeling that the productions were meant to be preachy. And I will return to the Taproot where I hope to rediscover the positive and uplifting productions that make me feel inspired, not beaten down.

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