(lumin) Theater's production of "Seascape with Sharks and Dancer" was even more unique than the show's title. Instead of staging this performance on a traditional stage, it rotated through private homes in the metro. Those who wanted to attend the play drove to an unknown address and hoped that they were walking into the correct packed-house, not a graduation or birthday party.
Once inside and after grabbing a beverage or plate of snacks, the audience sat in living rooms or family rooms to watch the two-person show. The play follows the bizarre relationship of Tracy (Leah Christine) and Ben (Tom Sorenson) that began when Ben fished Tracy out of the ocean as she began to drown; she claimed that she was dancing. The audience follows Ben and Tracy through their blossoming relationship that is filled with drama, jokes, light heartedness, the continuous threat/promise of leaving, heavy conversations and a possible abortion.
The play was very well done. Christine and Sorenson played-off of one another well and left the audience laughing and crying. It was clear that they had practiced and performed the show numerous times because their timing was perfect.
The play was moving and I would go see it again. However, I would have enjoyed the play more if I didn't feel like I was in the scene.
The entire performance felt like I was sitting in a stranger's living room and watching their lives' unfold 3 feet away. Frequently I found myself turning my gaze to the floor, box of wine, other audience members, anything other than the thing that I was supposed to be watching. From a young age we learn not to stare at people or pry into their lives. Though I knew this was a play, I still had a hard time watching the drama happen within an arm's length. Next time, I will make sure to get a seat in a back corner, (not a front and center seat that was in the fly zone for props) so that the production feels more like a play and less like the world's most awkward third-wheeling date.