October 4, 2002

 

Snap Shot

reviewed by
Lynn Trenning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more about Lynn Trenning, please visit her main page.

For more about the Farm Theatre, please visit their site.

(the article first appeared in The Charlotte Observer)

A photograph, taken by Lee Friedlander, entitled "Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, 1969" has been memorialized by a montage of poignant skits and monologues being performed at the Warehouse Theatre in the Hart-Witzen Gallery. Director Anthony Cerrato has gathered the most talented crew of young actors Iíve seen in a Charlotte performance.

The main floor theatre seats fourteen comfortably, but thatís not a problem, because the audience of Snapshot is on the move. After being ushered through the door by a Park Ranger, we were treated to a short documentary about Mount Rushmore. From there we were ushered to and fro through the three stories of this funky gallery, where we viewed over a dozen scenes.

Quick, can you name the four Presidents whose famous faces are carved into a mountain in South Dakota? They are Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Lincoln, who together form a collective catalyst for such deeply American expressions that I wished I were drinking a Coca Cola and eating a rack of ribs. Two brothers see their dead motherís face in the stone and argue over appropriate expressions of grief. A woman who has stolen a piece of petrified wood agonizes over self-righteous environmentalists. Two psychiatric patients try to figure out if they are really seeing large faces of stone, or are hallucinating.

A plethora of subtle truisms are captured in these memorable vignettes. Insights include how Americans who are horrified by crime donít think twice about stealing pens. And how Americans will give out the most personal of information over the phone if the person they are talking to sounds sincere. And how using a Pez dispenser as a talking puppet is an innocuous way to have a serious conversation. And how being told as a child that you are going to grow up to be the President of the United States can leave a person with a warped sense of who Presidents are. The list goes on.

Each scene ended in a silent pose, still as a photograph, before our trusty guides led us to the next location. Teens playing music loitered on stairs. We brushed past a man eating fast food on a bench. By the end of the night, I felt like Iíd been somewhere, a place Iíd like to revisit.

Lynn Trenning, October 4, 2002

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