A Soulful Red Resurrected

By John Townsend February 20, 2013

Categories: Arts & Culture, Featured - Home Page, Our Scene

Heather Bunch, Adelin Phelps (Red) and Willie Gambucci. Photo by Lauren B Photography.

Heather Bunch, Adelin Phelps (Red) and Willie Gambucci. Photo by Lauren B Photography.

The physical acting troupe dubbed the Transatlantic Love Affair has revived their numinous Minnesota Fringe Festival hit, Red Resurrected, as part of Illusion Theater’s Lights Up! series. Director/writer Isabel Nelson’s superb cast of eight plays various characters in an isolated backwoods hamlet where rigid social norms and a smothering fear of the outside world control all consciousness. They seem incapable of taking in new information.

Adelin Phelps plays Red, a local orphan reared by the local families. When she and the other young ones  attempt to explore the adjacent forest they are harshly hemmed back in by their elders. The seamless ensemble evokes an air of Calvinistic joylessness that obstinately clings to archaic notions of childbirth and sexual desire. Life for us sinners is necessarily a veil of tears. We are made to consider that the systemic, chronic engraining of fear into a community, is dehumanizing.

In contrast the ensemble emanates a soulful connection to nature. Human voices create nature sounds such as bark ripped from a tree. When Red finally leaves her homes after a traumatic experience rivetingly portrayed by Phelps and Derek Lee Miller, she enters a new level of consciousness. The wolf we recall from the fairy tale becomes a different sort of image altogether. The healing arts are brought into the realm of possibility. Fear is finally disempowered. Nature is finally discerned and truly trusted.

Red Resurrected
Through Mar. 2
Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Av., Mpls.
(612) 339-4944
www.illusiontheater.org

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