Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mindgame, etc.

I’m not familiar with the show “Mindgame” that Chamberlayne Actors Theatre will open tonight but I have been enjoying the marketing for it. I’ve received a couple of postcards touting the production, both very spooky / freaky, which I immediately showed my eldest daughter (who is suddenly enamored of scary movies) and each time she exclaimed, “That’s a play?”

On CAT's website, you can see a gallery of fairly gruesome posters plus a video preview (so I’m told – I can’t see video at work so I’m going on faith for this one). The threat / promise of ramped-up violence / scariness has spurred interest in the production, at least at my house.

And Bill Brock made for a pretty aggressive Stanley in “A Streetcar Named Desire” at Sycamore Rouge last year so I expect he can do good serial killer. Just take Stanley, remove humanity and add an extra dose of testosterone, right?

(UPDATE: OK, so I just checked out the video trailer and it looks like Bill ain't playing the killer. Or maybe he is? Anyway, guess I shouldn't cast aspersions before I see the show, right?)

And just a note for theater company people who might be reading this: get pictures of upcoming productions (known as “art” in the publishing biz) to Style as soon as you have them. The completeness of a publishable package (that is, text from writer, art from production) speeds up the possibility of its eventual appearance. I probably should have been more clear with folks about this all along but these days, with the advent of instant availability via the interwebs, it is particularly pertinent. Just an FYI!


Jacquie O. said...


Henley takes photos 5 weeks out from opening night and then they are sent with the PR to Brandon and Mike in that same week (I am pretty sure I copy you and Mary on these e-mails too.) Not only do we include the images in the body of the PR, but I also attach them separately. And I indicate that if they need a higher resolution to please let me know. My hope is that they will use the photos prior to the review (as they sometimes do.) HOWEVER…even though I do this I am still asked on occasion for photos at the last second (such as the case with R&G). It makes me shake my head, because I try so hard to make sure the papers are getting what they need. But I am sure they get so much that sometimes it slips through the cracks. Any suggestions?

Dave T said...

In communication with my stalwart editor, it seems like there is something of a Goldilocks paradigm here: Pictures sent too early get lost in the onslaught of everything else coming in. The JUST RIGHT time seems to be sometime during the week before opening night.

Also, the right size for a high-quality jpeg is in the neighborhood of 2 MB. Too much larger and I think e-mailboxes might reject it.

At Style, photos can be sent to Brandon Reynolds or Ed Harrington (their email addresses are their names separated by dots at

Hope that helps!

Jacquie O. said...

Thanks for the info Dave!

Anonymous said...

I saw the opening of "Mindgame" last night, and there is much to be said for the show's production value. It is a very illusory play, with many sleight-of-hand visual effects built into the script. However, it does take a very deliberate, magician's sense of trickery to pull these effects off. This particular production at CAT manages to do so very well. In several instances, the physical environment and reality of the setting transforms seamlessly before our very eyes, and never calling attention to itself while doing so. With CAT's somewhat conventional playing space, this is a very notable accomplishment for sure.

The script, of course, is an acquired taste. With its "drawing room drama/chamber play" presentation, small cast, and focus on psycho thriller conventions, it will definitely compel some and repel others.

One thing's for sure though: all present should definitely be very impressed with the show's production value and how skillfully the above-mentioned visual effects and illusions are executed. Well done!

Anonymous said...

The chief asset of CAT's production of MINDGAME is a really terrific play. The twists are difficult to predict and the ending is very surprising. It would be hard not to enjoy it under any circumstances, but CAT's production has some really good things about it, too. The tech work is first rate, and some of the effects are so subtle that they surprise different audience members at different times. The play, the actors and the scenic sleight-of-hand created more than enough suspense, anxiety and dread to keep me pulled in the entire time. And I always love an ending that I don't see coming. I do think the warnings in the advertising and playbill are warranted. If you're particularly squeamish or easily offended by violent material or sexual references then this is probably not the play for you.