|The cast of SILON (Roberta Christensen)|
SILON (The Secret and Impossible League of the Noosphere) in The Baltimore Plot
Live Girls! Theater
(at Theater Off Jackson)
Through December 16, 2017
It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a sighting of the first play in a SERIES! Woot! Yay! How fun is that!
Ok, so there are a few more days to catch the world premiere Live Girls! Theater production of The Secret and Impossible League of the Noosphere) in The Baltimore Plot. Once you see the play, you’ll understand the outlines of a new series of SILON plays, all somewhat science-fantastical, all somewhat based in history. Not quite steampunk, but not quite not.
Darian Lindle has cooked up an engaging story of Nikola Tesla (Sherif Amin), Lord Byron (Daniel Christensen) and his daughter Ada Lovelace (Alyssa Kay) traveling along the side of Time as this Secret and Impossible League, and realizing that they have a mission to prevent an anomaly that could disrupt History which could possibly destroy the United States of America! How? They have to prevent Abraham Lincoln from being prematurely assassinated in 1860, before he is first officially sworn in as President.
The setup of the play is engaging and smart, though it takes a few minutes to let the exposition spool out enough to understand where and “when” we are. Very low budget choices of lighting and movement establish moving through the Noosphere and into “real” (historic) Time in 1858 and 1860. Once we, the audience understand the pools of light and the “look” of fainting (my way of describing it), we know that the characters are transitioning.
The set design by Robin Macartney establishes paneled walls that turn, selectively, to indicate a completely new place. Smart, minimal choices by director Meghan Shalom Arnette, a general value of Live Girls!, show that she trusts the audience to join the journey and “get it.”
The capable cast introduces to the Seattle scene a newcomer who should be watched for: Marena Kleinpeter has a steady, graceful presence that imbues the lead with the same characteristics. Kate Warne was a real person who answered an ad at the Pinkerton Agency and was hired as the first known woman detective. Here, her story is recreated, though she is encouraged to go there by the inhabitants of the Noosphere so she can convince Pinkerton to begin guarding the railways.
Troy Lund plays Pinkerton as an honorable and foresighted man. Matthew Middleton plays Charles Babbage in a slightly unhinged way.
Caitlin Frances plays another real woman, Leah Fox who, with her sisters, were some of the very first known “mediums” in the New York area. In this iteration, she is a conwoman, but has a purpose in trying to find a way into the Noosphere, which only certain people with certain attributes (Synesthetes) can attain.
Imogen Love adds her voice to the “ship” of the Noosphere, named the Mary-Celeste, which was a real ship that was found empty of all people in 1872. She also becomes Abraham Lincoln.
Kudos must be given to Brian Stricklan’s creative “machine” that spits out mathematical algorithms to be translated into text. There is just enough mechanical reality to it.
The rules of this Noosphere include that the inhabitants (The League) can disembark into any “time” included in any of their lifetimes. And there’s no rule to say that Lovelace or Tesla have to continue to be inhabitants, so future editions and future plots could include any historic figures of Lindle’s liking. So, we can look forward to what she dreams up next. What Plot would you like to see next?