Monday, February 17, 2020


Thanks to the Open Fist Theatre Company at The Atwater Village Theatre, challenging and moving theatre still lives.  In their current presentation of ROHRSHACH FEST starting with INKBLOT 'A' we encounter John O'Keefe's Ghosts directed by O'Keefe. The audience is in for ..well.. challenges. 

Featuring Bryan Bertone, Cat Davis, Jan Munroe, Tina Preston,  Elif Savas and Janine Venable emitting sound collage and voices from the dark .. voices from the early days of Bay Area avant garde theatre. They are undeniable. 
Written by O'Keefe and first produced at The Magic Theatre in San Francisco in 1981, the beauty of this piece, rather, these pieces, is the dedication to the process.  Six Ghosts speak to the audience, a chorus in the dark and then, one by one tell their stories, confront the audience as each of us must contemplate: 
The end. Death. 
O'Keefe remains alive and relishes the telling in the play and in his philosophical persona. Being in the moment.  Alive and contemplative. 

Jan Munroe's laughter is at once contagious and chilling. 
Jan Munroe Photo Elif Savas
Tina  Preston's operatic voice fills the space.
Tina Preston Photo Elif Savas

 The cast is listed as an ensemble. Preston and Munroe are performers whom I've known for years.  Every single actor is exactly where they are intended to be.
What the text demands from the ensemble is more than heavy acting chops.  The opening in the dark delivers a vocal sound collage/montage that transports the audience into another realm.  

O'Keefe's Ghosts is more than a play, going back to the days when experimental theatre asked the audience to participate, not necessarily directly, but to allow that the experience is visceral as well as being sight and sound. 
Applause to Martha Demson and The Open Fist for this ongoing exploration of the type of theatre that informs and inspires us to look beyond an evening's 'entertainment' to the art and craft of experience that calls for discussion and an exchange of ideas. 

Do NOT miss this show!  Brilliant text and brilliant performances! 
Check the Open Fist Website for the additional plays: a series of "Inkblots" to be presented.

John O’Keefe’s GHOSTS (Inkblot A)
Open Fist Theatre’s ROHRSHACH FEST  Atwater Village Theatre 
3269 Casitas Ave. 
Atwater, Ca. 90039  
Continues through April 5, 2020
Performances on Fridays at 8 p.m.
 Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
 Sundays at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Mondays at 8 p.m.
For reservations and information
(323) 882-6912 or


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