Intimate black-box theater tends to traffic in “micro,” each flicker of gesture and nuance of phrase expressing something that is so true for one character in one moment in one place and time, that it draws the watcher into empathy for a distinct other. Meanwhile, the “macro” realm is more readily addressed by spectacular Broadway shows or even films, where sweeping scenic panoramas, massive catastrophes, and epic battles can fit in the frame. How else to encompass the world, the universe, or even the malleable constraints of space and time?
“Tomorrow!”, the brainchild of Working Theater Collective founder and RACC Grant recipient Ashley Hollingshead, attempts the near-impossible: fitting a macro theme into the constraints of a micro-show. Tackling “the future” in the same way her last title, “Something Epic/Everyday” addressed “the present,” she condenses the heady exploration of humanity’s trajectory into a four-person, 70-minute play wherein a quartet of young Everymen in timeless business-casual clothes* perform a series of parlor charades. It’s a tempest in a black-box, and in case you can’t picture it, here’s the trailer:
Cute, vulnerable, ambitious and brave, Action/Adventure Theatre’s thesps employ a variety of techniques over a medley of found and original sound (Zagar & Evans “In the Year 2525″, songs by Kyle Acheson, a global-warming-themed redux of Nelly’s “Hot in Herre”, and much more). Like a Greek Chorus orating a film-lit textbook, they recite retro-futuristic clichés: “A Vision of the Future From [A Given Year]!” they periodically announce. 1963: robot maids. 1979: peak oil, Mad Max. 1989: hoverboards. And—as far forward as the play’s “retro” goes—1991: artificial intelligence and nuclear apocalypse.