The headline is correct. This is a preview—not a review—of White Rabbit Red Rabbit, which will be presented by The Black Mirror Theatre Company from November 2 through November 5 at The Chapel, 6238 Alexander Drive.
I am taking this unusual step to avoid spoilers. Having seen the play, I know there is little I would want to say about a production that would not run the risk of giving away too much.
The playwright, Nassim Soleimanpour, was born in 1981. He studied and later taught set design at the University of Tehran. He wrote White Rabbit Red Rabbit in 2010. The first performances were at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks festivals. Since then, the play has been performed widely in over 20 languages.
The conditions of performance are extraordinary. There is no director. There are no rehearsals. Each performance is by an actor who is not given the script until the show begins and will never perform it again.
These conditions are not a gimmick. They are essential to fulfilling the playwright’s vision. For both the performer and the audience, the restrictions create uncertainty that would not exist in a conventional staging. The uncertainty is not a passing surprise. It is maintained from start to finish.
White Rabbit Red Rabbit offers a unique experience, but only if actor and audience come to it cold. The experience is worth having, and I won’t spoil it for others by analyzing the play and the production as I normally would. Withholding a review until the Black Mirror run is complete is not a solution. Revealing or even implying too much would be a spoiler for anyone who finds the review in an internet search.
The Black Mirror schedule at The Chapel include the following performers at the specified times:
- Jarek Templeton on Thursday, November 2, at 7 p.m.
- Evan Turek on Friday, November 3, at 7 p.m.
- Dorothy LaBounty on Saturday, November 4, at at 7 p.m.
- Ellie Schwetye (with ASL Interpretation) on Sunday, November 5, at 2 p.m.
Links for purchasing tickets from $15 (for students and senior) to $25 can be found at https://www.blackmirrortheatre.org.