Backstage: Rorschach Theatre
By Jane Horwitz
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The intrepid Rorschach Theatre has taken its inkblot-inspired name and run with it for the holiday season. This weekend the company will present, twice each day, a collection of six new 10-minute plays, "Klecksography: Home for the Holidays," at Flashpoint's Mead Theatre Lab, 916 G St. NW.
The title comes not from the company's namesake, Swiss psychoanalytic pioneer Hermann Rorschach and his inkblot test, but from the German word for inkblot, "kleck," which was Rorschach's nickname as a boy because he liked to draw, and from a childhood game he played making up stories based on shapes in inkblots.
All the "Klecksography" playlets were written last week by six area writers - Patrick Bussink, James Hesla, Jason Linkins, Augie Praley, Christin Siems and Seamus Sullivan - and workshopped Dec. 12. Rehearsals are underway with 24 actors. The plays emerged from stories sent in response to Rorschach's Facebook call for tales about going home for the holidays - classic psychoanalytical fodder, for sure.
Co-artistic director Jenny McConnell Frederick says, "We got a great response on our Facebook fan page, and [co-artistic director Randy Baker] and I went through and picked our favorite six stories and used them as inspiration for the playwrights."
The project is a profile-raiser for the experimental troupe, which hasn't produced a full roster of plays since summer 2009. During that nearly 18-month hiatus, apart from some readings and a presentation at the Kennedy Center's Page-to-Stage festival, Frederick and Baker have been looking for a venue for their itinerant troupe. Baker is earning an MFA and Frederick works at the nonprofit Cultural Development Corporation, producing the summer Source Festival and programming the Mead Theare Lab.
While they still don't have a permanent home for Rorschach, Frederick says they're going to announce a spring show this weekend.