Slow and Tight - a whimsical journey of mad theatre
Since 1997, one of the most enduringly popular attractions at Sacred Fools Theater has been “Fast & Loose,” which has been presented several times each season. Within a space of 24 hours, short plays are created from conception to execution.
Writers pull words out of a hat and/or select distinctive props, using the words and props as launching devices to fashion their scripts, which are then assigned to directors who pull the names of their casts out of a hat. The actors rehearse and perform the show. This has all been accomplished within the space of a 24-hour day.
Whenever the Sacred Fools have presented “Fast & Loose,” it’s sold out. For one thing, the audience loves to see how well the artists may have risen to their artistic challenges….it’s theater on a tightrope. Given the constraints of time and budget, it’s as risky as experimental theater often gets. For another thing, the plays have been performed only once. Some fans have wanted to see some of the plays again. Others, who may have missed a particular program on an earlier date, want to see the short plays for the first time.
So, “Slow & Tight” has been created (The title is a riff on “Fast & Loose.”). A selection was made of the most popular of the once-performed plays to create a new bill for a mid-week five-week run. The bill is rather like a menu in an ethnic restaurant: There are enough different kinds of items to please a wide variety of tastes. Even if some selections appeal to you more than others, you’re going to find some things that you like a lot. This will be the third program of “Slow & Tight” plays. The first was presented three years ago.
years ago; we took a year off - Ye Olde Webmaster]
There are some adult themes in the current bill. The show is not for kids. Among the storylines: A pirate from the Spanish Main walks into an all-night diner in the wee hours; A psychiatrist assesses a man who behaves like a feline; A pair of women in the adult film industry aspire to become serious actresses; The mobility-challenged member of a therapy group must immediately gain the ability to walk or the people he cares about will die; A clown hired to entertain at a kid’s birthday party harbors an unusual secret; A pair of baseball fans discover their baseball hero’s inner torment; Three men without pants are confronted by a woman with a hat.
To look at the assortment of storylines, just reading it makes one scratch their heads in wonder. These are unusual themes that seemed to have been jumbled together out of hat and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have. We will look behind the scenes and see how this amazing play is put together.
Day One, 10:00pm
The Writers get...
• Random variables (i.e. subject/prop, setting/prop, noun/verb).
• A cast makeup for which to write, (1 Man/2 Women e.g.)
• 12 hours to complete a 10 minute script which incorporates them.
10:00am, The Following Morning
The Directors blindly pick...
• One of the completed scripts.
• A Cast (chosen blindly from a pool of actors).
• Then they rehearse (everyone gets 45 minutes on the stage).
5:00pm, That Same Day
Each Production gets...
• 30 minutes to set light and sound cues.
10:00pm that night
Fast and Loose is presented.
It sure was a wild ride of a night too. The audience greatly enjoyed the acts that performed that night. Some acts were thoroughly enjoyable even though the scenes didn’t make any sense. There was a liberation in being able to interpret the act as you felt like. The ode to the woman in the hat was beautifully played out with much intensity as if it was a musical. Slow and Tight was mostly whimsical because the scripts were written seriously on the most urbane of subjects. It is impossible not to laugh when a whole act is played out around the ideas of balloons and how it has to play a part in throughout the scene. If you haven’t attended this outrageously innovative show then, you are truly missing out on what talented writers, directors, and actors are capable of producing with the most unusual of circumstances. It is a true nod to the art of theatre and what happens when a group of artists are allowed free reign of their art. A maestro performance of comedy, heart, passion, and a whole lot of soul.
-- Juanny Romero
©2005 L.A Splash