TheatreLAB brings the complex ‘White Rabbit Red Rabbit’ to the Basement stage, wows audiences in one-off performances
From its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to the production here at Richmond’s TheatreLAB, Keri Wormald’s current run of White Rabbit Red Rabbit, censored playwright Nassim Soleimanpour’s thought experiment, has left actors trembling and audience members on-edge, perplexed, moved, and perhaps even transformed.
Twelve local Richmond actors accepted the challenge – performing the one-act, one-actor play with no director, no costumes, and no set with a script sight-unseen until the moment the envelope is handed to them in front of the audience.
From that moment on, Soleimanpour has us in the palm of his hands.
Soleimanpour is a conscientious objector whose refusal to partake in the mandatory military service for all Iranian men prevents him from traveling out of the country. In his isolation, Soleimanpour reaches out to the world via Skype and email, using his words as weapons against an oppressive regime.
White Rabbit Red Rabbit starts out as an absurdist tale then slowly, and in unexpected ways, draws the audience into a dark cautionary tale about the nature of oppression and the dangers of silence in the face of cruelty and corruption.
Providing any more details would spoil the experience and intent of the play. And given its nature, each performance is unique.
On the night I attended, actor and singer Katrinah Carol Lewis breathed life into the provocative script with a performance that was raw, delightful, surprising, and impassioned.
I intend to return again to see just how much the drama changes with a different actor.
TheatreLAB’s intimate space enhances the already-wrenching experience. The Basement allows for a visceral physical and emotional connection between audience, actor, and Soleimanpour himself.
I urge you to make plans to see this experimental play. Performances continue at The Basement as follows:
Tonight – June 17 at 8:00 p.m. featuring Deanna Danger [Burlesque producer and performer]
June 19 at 11:00 p.m. featuring Eva DeVirgilis [actress and makeup artist]
June 20 at 11 p.m. featuring Scott Wichman [Actor and Navy reservist]
June 21 at 2:00 p.m. featuring Tiffany Jana [CEO of TMI, Inc., producer and actor]
For tickets, visit TheatreLABrva.org or call their Box Office at (804) 505-0558
Julie Harthill Clayton is an out and proud bisexual with a passion for reading, writing . . . and NOT arithmetic. Her work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Internet Review of Books, Curve Magazine, Lambda Literary and more. She is working on her first novel - Two Tickets to Freedom - a semi-autobiographical queer coming-of-age tale. A paralegal by day, Julie spends her free time knitting, writing, and reading anything she can get her hands on. She lives in Richmond with her partner, local artist David Turner, and their mischievous and loving hunting dog, Max.
The controversial story of a young women’s search for peace in Palestine comes to life thanks to TheatreLAB
“While the politics of the conflict are very much a center of the piece, the real message is a story of conflict with a message of peace and I hope that’s what people walk away with.”March 6, 2017
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