What to Expect with Laugh Riot's 'Six Characters'

Thursday, March 24th, 2016 at 8:14 AM

Another semester means another production by Edinboro’s own Laugh Riot Performing Arts company. This time, the crew will present their own adaptation of “Six Characters in Search of an Author.”

Originally written by Luigi Pirandello in 1921, “Six Characters” is a play about the interaction between authors, their characters and actors, with a small cast and illogical plot progression. Laugh Riot strives to embody this effect with its performance.

“This show will be done in the round,” Laugh Riot director Rob Connick said via email. “Audiences will surround the action.”

With this in mind, it’s clear that “Six Characters” is a different kind of performance for the troupe. As the action takes place (at times) within the audience, playgoers will be able to experience a different effect than simply watching. They’re part of it too.

“The show straddles the line between fantasy and reality, with the actors questioning the legitimacy of the story played out for them,” Connick explained. “As we’ve spent more time with the characters, the cast has really created a clear set of individuals with specific agendas and desires.”

That cast, full of both talent from Laugh Riot shows past and newcomers alike, has been working since February to perfect this series of performances. Like all shows, however, the “Six Characters” production has not been without challenges.

“The biggest challenge is keeping everyone on stage focused and in character for the long periods where they are observing the action around them,” Connick said, a common situation that arises in plays like these.

With regards to what expectations the audience should have going into this performance, Connick said that, “Audiences should expect to be left with more questions than answers after the show ends. What’s true and what’s imagined is never really answered.”

Ambiguous warnings aside, “Six Characters in Search of an Author” premieres March 24 and will run through April 3, with no performances on March 27, Easter Sunday.

Thursday through Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m., while the Sunday show on April 3 will begin at 2:30 p.m.

As with all Laugh Riot shows, they are open to Edinboro students, faculty, and community members. For more information, visit the Laugh Riot website or their Facebook page.

Britton Rozzelle is The Arts Editor for The Spectator and he can be reached at ae.spectator@gmail.com.

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