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Trade Practices: In brief
HERE's Kristin Marting directs an immersive performance piece, conceived by David Evans Morris, in which audience members buy "shares" of four competing storylines that are performed simultaneously on Governors Island. The text is by six name-brand playwrights: Erin Courtney, Eisa Davis, Robert Lyons, Qui Nguyen, KJ Sanchez and Chris Wells.
Trade Practices: Theater review by Christopher Kompanek
At its most ambitious and primal, theater seeks to immerse us in worlds (and with people) previously foreign. This happens with striking success upon walking through the doors of Tender, Inc., a paper company plummeting in peril as technology threatens its stationery business—“When was the last time you wrote a letter?” division head Brenda McCall (Megan Hill) asks wryly—as well as its government contract to print currency. Created by Kristin Marting and David Evans Morris, this site-specific journey begins as an intern, played with off-kilter ebullience by Brooke Ishibashi, guides visitors into boardrooms and focus groups to glimpse vignettes of absurdist minutia. With scripts commissioned from half a dozen playwrights, the tone varies wildly (realism to showtune pastiche), but you can switch storylines scene by scene by buying “stock” on the centerpiece trading floor. As in life, though, it’s not always clear when to hold on or give up.—Theater review by Christopher Kompanek
THE BOTTOM LINE This choose-your-own-adventure satire is a solid investment.