THE TIGER onstage in Shaun Raviv‘s new play, “Feed Me,” may not be real, but rest assured: It will have teeth aplenty by Act III.
The play, at the D.C. Arts Center, opens with two soldiers who are investigating a building that was ambushed during an unnamed war. The find an upturned lab with one occupant: a starving tiger.
The story flashes back. Dr. Bailey — usually played by Ray Hagen, but director Matty Griffiths subbed last Thursday — and his assistant, Dr. Tan (Joe Brack), are investigating a cure for a plague referred to as the Red. The plague has killed millions and spawned a prolonged, brutal war.
Deterring the progress of the doctors as they test the increasingly hungry tiger is the belligerent Pvt. Gedney (Brandon J. Gowen), who reminds the “eggheads” that he’s the one holding the gun.
The men bond a little over their stricken loved ones, but that ends when the doctors find a cure for Red in the tiger’s blood. Gedney radios his superiors, who respond with classified orders that mean the doctors and their life-giving animal must be slain.
The doctors plead with Gedney to reconsider, but the building is attacked, and in the chaos, Bailey closes the door, which can be opened only from the outside. The three men are stuck in the lab with no food … and a ferociously hungry tiger.
It all becomes a question of survival and the futility of sacrifice. Attendees should really eat beforehand.
» DCAC, 2438 18th St. NW; through Nov. 11, $15-$20; 202-462-7833; feedmeordie.com. (Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan)
Written by Express contributor Erin Trompeter
Photo courtesy feedmeordie.com