Although Geiger had to go for broke to score enough bulbs for the set, Rooney managed to get the mile and a half of cable required from the Chicago crew by bringing back the barter system. “We just paid for shipping and sent them two cases of local D.C. beer.”
Sept. 5 - Oct. 14, 1501 14th St. NW, www.studiotheatre.org, 202-332-3300
‘Taking Steps’ at Constellation
The Constellation Theatre Company’s founding artistic director, Allison Arkell Stockman, is directing the theater’s upcoming production of “Taking Steps.” The only thing about the British comedy is that technically speaking, the set has no steps.
Set in a three-level Victorian home compressed onto one plane, “Taking Steps” requires actors to mime scaling nonexistent staircases. “It’s an architecturally driven comedy,” Stockman said. “I think it also represents, on a larger level, that our perspective is only one small piece of what’s happening in the larger world.”
“It’s really rare to have comedies in the round,” Stockman explained. “You really want to control the audience’s focus, and in the round everybody has a different perspective.”
Stockman said the six-person cast is Constellation’s smallest ensemble to date. “It was definitely, in part, because of the budget,” she said. “I also think that we were making this decision in the middle of ‘Metamorphoses’ last spring. And after that swimming pool, I think we were all very excited to do something simpler.”
“Taking Steps” wound up being far more complicated than Stockman anticipated, partly because of the clever choreography to create the impression of movement up and down the stairs that aren’t there and partly because the plot is this scrambled British farce of a thing that I will not even try to explain to you. There is at least one case of mistaken identity and also at least one ghost.
“It’s the timing and the structure,” Stockman said of the show’s biggest challenges. “And trying to stage it in a way that is believable and funny, and plays to all sides of the audience.”
Sept. 6 - Oct. 7, at the Source, 1835 14th St. NW, www.constellationtheatre.org, 202-204-7741