Friday, April 20, 2012

Rua | Wülf

Rua|Wülf is a migrating play currently taking place at The Goat Farm on the west side of Atlanta. I saw it last Friday and have been singing it's praises ever since. Historically, I have not been much a theatre-goer. This could be due to the fact that I have not been aware of many plays with subjects that peaked my interest but more so because I have not found myself able to get "lost" in plays the way I can in books or movies. I am naggingly aware that the actors are acting and am normally left craving more authenticity or at least a few more surprises.

Rua|Wülf is a dark, sexual and sometimes disturbing interpretation on the children's classic "Little Red Riding Hood". I've heard of many children's stories being re-interpreted to discover their sexual or violent undertones so I was not surprised to hear that this production's interpretation focused on Little Red Riding Hood's story as one about a girl becoming a young woman, discovering her sexuality and avoiding "wolves" on the pathway to love and self discovery... and I was intrigued.

There were so many things done right in this play. One- there was no actual wolf... just the mysterious and very human Hemmimg. A man who became a "wolf" only after being taken advantage of as a young boy (I will leave out all of the details as to not spoil the play). Almost subconsciously seeking revenge on the wrongs done to him in the past, Hemming preys on Rua ("Little Red") to not only satisfy his sexual hungers but to also satiate his innermost urges to reach the one he cannot have through Rua.

Two- this literary journey from Mother's house to Grandmother's house is also a literal one. You walk among the actors over the 12 acre Goat Farm as the sun sets and both the night and story grow colder. For about two and a half hours you interact with the same set as the actors from watching Hemming and Rua dance in the forest from behind the trees to sitting at the foot of Grandmother's bed. At one point I said it reminded me of being a little kid and going out on a night walk with friends. Everything normal somehow became a little scary and unfamiliar. Every step you took was a little shorter than the last as you nervously walked deeper into the darkness.

Three- the actors... all of them are fantastic. Every actor in this play was lost in their role allowing the audience to really see them as the characters they portrayed and caused the audience to react emotionally when finding out new information about the characters we thought we knew. Despite feeling every moment that I'd just found out an important secret that might provide the explanation I was searching for in the plot, I found that both the characters and the story evolved so quickly that there was almost no way to predict the outcome of this dreary tale.

The intermission was incredibly special. Staying true to the story's roots, we all sat down to an exquisitely decorated Alice and Wonderland-like tea party for tea and cookies. The break came after two separate and intense monologues where the audience was broken into two groups to hear background information from each of the each main characters. I couldn't wait to rejoin my group to unload all of the secrets Hemming told me in private... or at least, it felt that way.

I wish I could divulge more details of the play's powerful and intense story line, but then I would rob you of some of the play's most exciting moments. Please check out Rua | Wülf at the Goat Farm. Be entertained, support local artists and see one of the most important venues in the city of Atlanta in all it's glory. And watch out for the Turkey that lives on the grounds... he runs around loose and isn't afraid to speak his mind. BUY TICKETS NOW- only running through the 29th!

No comments: