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Out of Hand Theater1
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30 Below, by Out Of Hand Theater
"30 Below" Intelligent, Hilariously Provocative Show
Tuesday, November 12, 2002
5.0
By Pietro Bonacossa.

As the sophomore production of Out of Hand Theater - the first one being Jean Cocteau's "Les Parents Terribles" earlier this year - "30 Below" showcases a maturity and wit that are highly precocious for the company's young age. This is especially evidenced by the actual age of this ensemble of artists - all under thirty, hence the new
show's title - who founded Out of Hand Theater in 2000 with a mission to create theatre as an "event", as clarified by their mission statement. And an event is what "30 Below" is.
Presented in twelve brilliant sketches and delivered by the actors with exceptional agility in style and technical skill in execution, "30 Below" is an intelligent and hilariously provocative tour de force about the psychosocial interaction of young individuals in today's modern world.
Promoted as "a carefully marketed show for, by and about a generation characterized by overstimulation, apathy and susceptibility to commercialism" and staged by Out of Hand Theater in conjunction with Theatre Emory, "30 Below" returns to Atlanta after making much sensation last season, when it was first staged in different environmental parts of the university, such as hallways, bathrooms and parking lots, in an effort to present a rare sensory symbiosis
between playwright, actors and audience.
For its second run, Out of Hand Theater has moved "30 Below" to 7 Stages, a venue fitting of the futuristically isolating but appropriately intimate set decoration skillfully designed by Jimmy Hilburn. More than a play, "30 Below" is a mosaic of twelve short pieces, which flow together naturally in spite of their remarkable dissimilarities. Beginning with a satire of the modern cell phone age and ending with a metaphorical account of the emotionless monotony of working in a grocery store, "30 Below" travels through intimate journeys of self-discovery by presenting snippets of everyday life that are comically absurd but yet tragically real.
Such journeys are presented through a wide array of subject matters (love, sex, bathroom hygiene, technology, violence, homosexuality, dating triumphs and defeats, intimacy, work-related woes), emotions (sadness, fear, love, boredom, euphoria, disappointment, pity, disgust) and theatre genres (allegory, farce, avant-gardism, chamber opera, melodrama, morality play, not to mention a melange of
absurd/satiric/dark/adult/bizarre comedy) in a continuous pattern of anecdotes that are both captivating and amusing. Throw in a couple of song and dance numbers and an audio-visual montage and you have a theatrical blend of a variety of art forms on live stage. For the most part, the action transcends time and place but focuses instead on the development of characters through brief accounts of life in
our modern world, viewed through the eyes of a young generation.
The cast, which includes Ariel de Man, Adam Fristoe, Briam Kimmel, Maia Knispel (all of whom also directed), Keland Scher, Brittany Abbass, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Raife Baker, Chris Burke, Brian Crawford, Jimmy Hilburn and Jessica Rhoads, is terrific, and the organic interaction of the characters that each of them portrays can be attributed to them as well as the cleverly written scripts.

"30 Below", now playing at Seven Stages.
Show times: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays; 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturdays; 5 p.m. Sundays; 10:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and 22. Through Nov. 23. $12-$15.
Out of Hand Theater at 7 Stages, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. 404-523-7647 or click on 7stages.org.







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