by Eugene Ionesco
The Alchemist Theatre
Alchemist Theatre fills Ionesco's The Chairs with life
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mike Fisher
"The chairs of Ionesco's title — brought on stage by this couple throughout the show — are intended for these imaginary guests, with whom this couple's ensuing playacting bears an unsettling resemblance to the vapid chitchat at most cocktail parties.
Hoffmann smartly spotlights the consequent cost to Old Woman — reduced to a husk as she, like women everywhere, spends her days propping up her husband's fragile ego by telling him what a genius he is, even as it becomes ever clearer that he's nothing of the sort."
Click here for the full Journal Sentinel review.
Have a seat: Alchemist Theatre's admirable "Chairs"
Milwaukee Examiner, Jeff Grygny
"The play takes place in its own artistic dimension, like abstract painting or music: it is what it is. And it could hardly ask for a finer, more respectful presentation than given by the Alchemist Theatre. Under the direction of Leda Hoffman, with help from dramaturg Emily Penick, and especially with rich, detailed performances by Tim Linn and Kelly Doherty, the challenging script takes form as an extended verbal opera; Linn’s deep soulful cello playing counterpoint to Doherty’s insistent viola. Though the story is threadbare at best, they have done the painstaking but absolutely necessary work of making every emotional moment clearly recognizable, so we never feel completely alienated. Aaron Kopec’s detailed sculptural set seems bigger than the tiny stage actually is; with blue light filtering through cracks in the walls, we get the sense of a ramshackle house on the sea at the end of the world.
Click here for the full Milwaukee Examiner review.
Setting "The Chairs" for Imaginary Guests
Shepherd Express, Harry Cherkinian
"An old man and old woman live in lonely isolation on an island. They have invited “imaginary guests” to their ramshackle home and frantically put out more and more chairs as the “guests” arrive. They are “all” awaiting the arrival of the great Orator who will reveal the old man’s message, which will transform the world.This is the setting for The Chairs, Eugène Ionesco’s bleak absurdist farce, which opened last weekend at the Alchemist Theatre under the spot-on direction of Leda Hoffmann."
Click here for the full Shepherd Express review.
Old Man - Tim Linn
Old Woman - Kelly Doherty
Orator - Dylan Bolin
Director - Leda Hoffmann
Set and Sound Designer - Aaron Kopec
Lighting Designer - Antishadows
Costume Designer - Andrea Bouck
Stage Manager - Jared McDaris
Assistant Director/Dramaturg - Emily Penick