Encore Michigan

Review: Break The Chain kicks off with a short-play fest in Detroit

Review November 13, 2022 David Kiley

DETROIT, MI–The advantage to short-play festivals is that if there is one you don’t like very much, it’s over quickly and you can strap in for the next one.

Break-The-Chain, a new theatre company in our midst began it’s live in-theatre life this weekend with a two-day short-play festival that continues today. Held in Detroit’s Matrix Theatre, the theatre is bare, black walls with BTC executing the plays with a few stage pieces–table and chairs and a handful of props–a dead body and a tattoo piercing gun among them.

Choose Your Own Adventure, by Michigan actor/playwright Kryssy Becker is about a woman having  access to Virtual Reality adventures. But it turns into a string of unforeseen debacles connected to a woman’s right-to-choose.  An off-stage voice (Danielle Wright) keeps offering Sam (Courtney Olsen) choices, like going to a party. At the party, though, Sam is sexually assaulted and becomes pregnant and then the voice keeps answering her questions about what to do next and informs her that she can’t get an abortion in the state she is living. And so on. For each question Sam asks, there is another answer that seems unfair and ridiculous.

If the story had gone on much longer, it would take on a sledgehammer effect. But in this short form, it feels like a tasty, punchy, clever vignette, and ever so timely since Michigan this week voted to protect a woman’s right to choose her healthcare for herself without consulting the government.

Dickery Pokery, by Brandon Urrutia is a laugh outloud funny short story about a man, Tony (Tim Pollack) who takes a coupon for a free piercing to a mall piercing boutique with the intention of getting his penis pierced. Claire (Aurora Renee), the 17-year old piercing tech is hysterical and Renee plays the foil deftly without over-doing it or being repetitive in her horror.

He’s History, written by Marilyn Zerlak, is a curious idea about two women meeting on a cruise with Tammy (Sarah Mertz-Lisiecki) encountering a woman in exotic, vintage garb (Meg McNamee) who turns out to be the time-traveled widow of Alexander Hamilton.

Loretta’s Crematorium Hour, written by P.S. Drake, is a curious idea about a crematorium worker (Dinah R. Tutein) who has a podcast that she records while preparing bodies for cremation. An unexpected visitor (Sage Robinson) shows up in the facility that she thinks is a new employee, but she has a whole other agenda.

Break The Chain is a new company, founded by Craig Ester, Maurizio Dominguez and Alexis Grace Clark. The stated mission of the company is to produce plays that show diversity and empathy.

Welcome to the community!!!!!

Week of 11/28/2022

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