Archikulture Digest

Mysterious Skin

Mysterious Skin

Written by Prince Gomolvilas

Based on a novel by Scott Heim

Directed by Jeremy Seghers

Starring Anthony Pyatt Jr. and Michael Martin

Carbon Productions

Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival – Orange Venue</strong>

Out in the plains of Kansas there’s not much to do besides admire the world’s longest grain elevator and play Little League. Brian (Anthony Pyatt Jr.) isn’t happy in Little League, but he can’t say exactly why. Years later he still has blackouts and his friend Avalyn (Marcie Schwalm) convinces him it was an alien abduction. Meanwhile teammate Neil (Martin) tells his friend Wendy (Emily Killian) he’s decided on a career of hustling on street corners, it pays well and doesn’t require a college education. Somehow theses boys are related by something deeper and more sinister, and we ride along engrossed and looking for that connection. Once it appears, it may be possible for Brian to recover, and perhaps Michael help that process. Or maybe they will just restart the cycle.

This is a dark, disturbing play with explicit sexuality, rape and abuse. Director Seghers takes us down the path in a dark and moody space with dim lighting and minimal settings. Pyatt seems younger than his already early years; he’s Harry Potter without the magic and will always be trapped under the stairs. Martin’s Neil is tall and cocky and willing to take exceptionally high risks for small rewards, he’s almost daring life to pick him off. No one else on stage guesses what the real problem is, but Avalyn’s gentle looniness and Wendy’s fag hag-in-training tolerance shows each of these men has some social support. Supporting actors included Scotty Campbell as the man in the car nervously looking for sex in Hutchison Kansas and the fully frontal Paul Layton in the role of “Man.” That’s “Man” as an unspecified human as opposed to the more high minded “Man” as humanity as a collective. This is a brutal and disturbing show, featuring cold, icy illumination and sharp, shocking scene transitions that are either gun shots or baseball bats cracking. You are not intended to feel good when you leave.

This commentary was prepared from a pre opening rehearsal.

This show is part of the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival. Tickets and other information may be found at http:\

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