(photo credit: YOSSI ZWECKER)
All concerned, please take a bow for the unafraid-to-stick- itsneck- out Absurd.dot.com, a saucy yet thoughtful riff on our time via the genre named Theater of the Absurd.
In-house playwright Roy Rashkes offers a series of vignettes featuring mothers, sons, lovers, daughters, fathers, dreams and death, precisely directed by Irit Frank, its numerous characters played with bite, humor and always intelligently by six actors – Roni Dotan, Tsafrir Elbaz, Avi Hadash, Irit Meiri, Zohar Sabag and Mai Sela, with a special nod to Hadash and Meiri.
Sabag and Dotan are clad in pristine white, the others are in black; no grey in this world of seeming absolutes.
To play they mostly step into a circle enclosed with wide plastic strips, and step out when the scene is done.
Sometimes they’re on the outside, naked to the world as it were. Above them, on monitors facing the audience, commercials endlessly screen, their mindless babble muted only when the actors speak.
Set and costumes are by Paula Myudovnik. Lighting and music are, respectively, by Uri and Nadav Rubinstein, and fit the production like a glove.
Perhaps the most telling “bit” in Absurd is a monologue by Sabag, a man who has everything, he exults, except that he’s the last man and no-one is left to envy him. So what’s the point – eh? Well, that is the point. Back to theater of the absurd that exploded in Europe after the cataclysm of World War II.
Its plays, says a definition from Yale University, “expressed the belief that in a godless universe human existence has no meaning or purpose,” in other words it becomes illogical, irrational and useless. People live in an incomprehensible world they must deal with or retreat from, or both.
“Only connect” implores E.
M. Forster’s Howard’s End, but in an absurdist world connection falters or is absent.
What the creators of Absurd.dot.com are looking to say, and without preaching, is that we too are living on the edge of an abyss; that seemingly more connected than ever we were in human history, we are actually more alone. Seeming has replaced being, there’s no such thing as a moral universe, and our hands grasp emptiness.
You see it. See what you think. That too is the Absurd.