Monday, November 13, 2017

KAIDAN: An immersive, site specfic, multi-sensory experience

Kaidan Project:!  WALLS GROW THIN

From Wikipedia: 

Kaidan (怪談) (sometimes transliterated kwaidan) is a Japanese word consisting of two kanji: 怪 (kai) meaning “strange, mysterious, rare or bewitching apparition" and 談 (dan) meaning “talk” or “recited narrative.”

Photo credit Chelsea Sutton

Rogue Artists Ensemble's extraordinarily expansive and creative journey with stories  inspired by Japanese folk tales (kaidan) is unlike virtually anything you, as a theatre goer may have ever experienced.  Environmental and existential, small groups of "searchers" are guided (more or less) and sometimes herded through a secret warehouse where their goal is to find  a missing woman: Kana Mori, played with extraordinary skill by Tane Kawasaki.  This is a visceral play that reaches into the actors as well as the audience.

Kana has been the victim of possession by a fox spirit, Kitsune. As she tells of her unfortunate experience, we are exposed to fantastic video projections, inventive puppetry and individual scenic designs that include one-on-one encounters that both frighten and inspire. 

A large foreboding freight elevator delivers audience members high up into the spooky narrow passageways of this industrial space creating a literal disassociation from reality all watched over by director Shawn T. Cawelti. Strong performances and dedicated ensemble members create an other worldly experience. Amazing tech and design credits are all listed on the company's page:

Because there are many actors playing the same parts, it's impossible to list individual performers. It is also impossible to try to explain the episodes that the audience is let to, with the exception of what seems to be simply magic as we come to the final ceremony with Kana.  And, that is really something! 

This is not a sit down and observe a performance  production.  Totally immersive, it is not, not, NOT! for the faint of heart.  

Required: comfortable shoes and being okay in confined spaces and total absolute darkness. The complete absence of a fourth wall makes this show very personal.   No fooling. The list of caveats is long and will be included in an email confirming your interest in seeing this production. 

Written by Chelsea Sutton and Lisa Dring along with the Ensemble, this ambitious project deserves an audience ready to explore beyond our imaginations... Imagine that!  Highly recommended.
By Lisa Dring and Chelsea Sutton 
and the Rogue Artists Ensemble
Secret Location: Los Angeles, CA
Tickets and Information:
213 596 9468

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