A promo video for ‘Ropes.” Below, actor Varín Ayala. (Click to enlarge)
To walk a tightrope is to travel in a way that’s as fraught with peril as it is delicately balanced — a daredevil method of getting from point A to point B, even if it remains indisputably the most direct path available.
In Ropes, the drama by Mexican playwright Bárbara Colio that begins previews at Red Bank’s Two River Theater Saturday, a trio of brothers walk a high-tension line between an unattainable ideal of family life on one end and, on the other, the reality of the strained relationships between themselves and their father, a world-renowned tightrope artist who abandoned them as children.
Gaby (Andrea Morales) encounters an inhabitant of PINKOLANDIA in the play of the same name by Andrea Thome at Two River Theater. (Photo by T.C. Erickson)
By TOM CHESEK
Just days after striking the set from Mr. Shakespeare’s fanciful Forest of Arden, the folks at Two River Theater Company got busy realizing another setting where occasional magic, romance, poetry and acts of heroism happen — a little place called Pinkolandia.
Don’t bother checking the map. Take it instead to the “black box” Marion Huber Theater inside Two River’s branded Bridge Avenue artspace, where a couple of young sisters named Gaby (Andrea Morales) and Beny (Maria Helan) have escaped with their family from their native Chile in the days of the Pinochet dictatorship to the cold and alien landscape of Reagan-era Wisconsin.
For playwright Andrea Thome — who grew up in Madison, WI with her Chilean mother and Costa Rican father — Pinkolandia represents a public triumph that’s interlaced with personal family history. An actor, author, dancer and sought-after translator, Thome has forged an eclectic resume of activity that sprawls from the West Coast (where she founded the Red Rocket Theater Company in San Francisco) to the East (where she serves as co-director of the “New York-based satire collective” known as Fulana). The Drama Desk at redbankgreen was pleased to speak with her during a “delightful, peaceful” week of rehearsals in Red Bank. Read on…