Printer's Devil Theater presents Torso by Keri Healey, writer of Cherry Cherry Lemon, The Ikea Cycle; Tiny Domestic Dramas, and Don't You Dare Love Me. Torso runs four weeks only, March 9 - 31, 2012, at Theatre Off Jackson.
Tickets are available now Brown Paper Tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/225203
Steeped in grief after the wrongful death of her sister, Daphne Maas learns that a childhood friend has been arrested for a shocking crime back in her family's Midwestern hometown. Daphne sets off on a desperate investigation to find out what happened and why -and along the way, finds that her own longing for the settling of scores can't be ignored.
The play explores the parallel stories of Daphne and her childhood friend, Marlo. As Daphne grapples with feelings of helplessness at the loss of her sister, we see the family dynamics that drive Marlo to turn her own feelings of frustration and betrayal into violence. As these two struggles unfold, we learn what happens when grief turns into blame and talk turns into action. We discover how thin is the line between those who think dark thoughts and those who act on them.
Torso is directed by David Bennett and features actors Susanna Burney, Emily Chisholm, Stephen Hando, Sarah Rudinoff, and John Q. Smith.
The production team includes Tim Crist (Production Manager), Stacey Plum (Stage Manager), Jake Nelson (set design),John Ackerman (composer), Michael White Hayes (sound design), Sarah Harlett (costume design), and Robert Aguilar (lighting design).
Healey's script was inspired by a death in her family and the homicide arrest of an old friend. (While the show's plot takes its cues from actual events, it is not fact-based.) Working with these difficult themes, Healey developed Torso over the course of two years. A series of workshops and readings with a development cast and the performance cast were supported by a 2009 City Artists grant from the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, a 2009 4Culture Individual Artists grant, and a 2010 Artist Trust GAP grant. This production is supported by a grant from the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs Civic Partners Program.
For Healey, the development workshops were the start of a new collaborative relationship with director David Bennett, who often works at Seattle Children's Theatre and the 5th Avenue Theatre. Healey says: "Working with David was really eye-opening to me because he comes at plays with an eye toward the action in them and I come at plays with an ear for character psychology and emotional arc. I'm a dialogue fan. I like talky people who tend to work out their drama through wordplay. But that wasn't right for this play somehow. Since he came on board early, he was really able to work with me at every step, pushing me to examine the WHYs of every action and every scene, and to pare down the 'acting scenery' around that action as much as possible. In that sense, I wound up writing something that feels pretty different from my typical style."
Torso features local chanteuse and theater artist, Sarah Rudinoff (Cinderella and On the Town at 5th Avenue Theatre) in the lead role, in a departure from her usual musical theater roles. About playing Daphne Maas, she says, "I have never done a play like Torso -- a kind of murder mystery turned on its ear, inspired by intriguing real events but also by deep emotional personal upheaval. I did not hear the words 'comedy' or 'comedienne' thrown about in casting me and as much as I love playing goofy over-the-top roles, I think we all want to be pushed into things that scare and challenge us."