Rogue Angel Theatre’s “The Lift”: A Performance in (and around) an Elevator [Berkshire On Stage]

June 15th, 2015, 1:00 pm by Greg

By Larry Murray

Already labelled the “impresaria of the unexpected,” it is long past time we wrote about Pooja Prema, the director of Rogue Angel Theatre and their fourth season’s production The Lift, a full-length multi-media ritual/dance play that takes place in an elevator with a ridiculously small audience of 20 at a time. It features an ensemble of six local professional actors, an upright bassist, a saw player and a pianist, as well a musical score from Brooklyn-based band Half Waif, original film montages, and a little bit of burlesque and drag thrown in for good measure.

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The company – which almost outnumbers the audience – offers two shows per night from June 18-21 & 25-28, at 6 & 9pm (for a total audience of around 320 over 8 nights). The Lift is a dance-play exploring the nuances of relationship among human beings, ultimately embracing our universal, complex and sometimes embarrassing attempts to love and be loved.

In describing what her approach to theater is, Prema says: “My work in the New Ritual Theater has its roots in the ritual drama traditions of South India, where there is no separation between art, healing, and spiritual experience. There is no distinction between dance and theater. What we now call ‘multi-disciplinary’ was simply the way things always were for thousands of years.”

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