Review: NoExit's '4.48 Psychosis'

March 10, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

One of the elements that keeps plays from reaching new audiences is the notion that they have to be performed in traditional theaters. NoExit, a collaborative group evolved over the past few years through productions at the Indy Fringe Festival and elsewhere, took its most recent show to an art space at Big Car Gallery, where it seemed to succeed in reaching a crowd that may not ever set foot in the IRT.

A combination of free-form poetry and movement/dance, “4:48 Psychosis” (which ran Feb. 18-March 5) delves into the mind of a young woman (Georgeanna Smith), whose journal entries make up the text. No back story is given, and character development is deliberately kept at a minimum as she fights a losing battle with clinical depression. From the beginning—as audience members are met with her vacant-eyed, resigned presence—we know where this is going. And the piece might have been best served at 20 minutes shorter than its one-hour running time. (The New York production ran a difficult-to-image hour and 45 minutes…in French)  But the constant beat of a metronome, the off-stage voices, the confidence of the dance/movement, and the knowledge that those dangling light bulbs were surely going to be used for something made for a worthwhile evening, even though the material was more admirable than insightful.

Performed with less skill and precision, a show such as this could easily come across as pretentious or preciously sophomoric. Here, however, the skilled NoExit folks demonstrated a professionalism and attention to moment-to-moment detail that left me regretting missing past work and looking forward to seeing what they have in store—which includes “Thom Pain (based on nothing),” at the Wheeler Arts Community in May.

Your thoughts?

 

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Does this require creativity?
    Would the purpose of art not be to teach emotional skill? Would it not be to show pathways to happiness, not despair and psychosis? Are they not parading banality, structuring within it quantitative variations devolving to a dismally monotone qualitive theme, and calling it--not useful--but "art", scarcely the same thing?

    I posted some of my views on art a couple weeks ago, here: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/Page18.html

    My email is bearachtraining@yahoo.com if you want to converse. I won't check back here.

    You won't be getting many comments, since most business people don't get off on psychosis and (presumably) suicide. Not much reason to devote effort becoming less mentally well and resourceful.
  • art
    Barry:
    Thank you for your comments (even if you aren't checking back on the blog).
    In response, I don't think the purpose of art is to teach emotional skill. Or the pathway to happiness. It can do those things, but why should it have to?
    Art can be hopeful or dispairing, giddy or serious, empowering or humbling. It can explore frailty or strength, light or dark (or shades of gray).
    Should we dismiss dispairing work from The Bell Jar to Cuckoo's Nest, from Oedipus to Catcher in the Rye just because of the state of mind of their characters?
    Respectfully,
    Lou
    • purpose of art? hmm
      "What is the purpose of art?" is as big a question as "What is art?" I enjoy thinking about these questions, but only until it is time to leave for the theatre.

      I go to the theatre to find truth, beauty, and catharsis.

      Sometimes I just have fun, and that's okay, too. Sometimes I am disappointed and that's okay, too, as long as it doesn't happen too often, because that's just life. (If it happens too often, I stop going to that particular theatre or I stop going to shows by those particular artists. I don't stop going to see theatre.)

      If a performance artist's truth is difficult or depressing, I hope that experiencing that person's truth helps to develop compassion in myself.

      However, I am not interested in just sitting in on someone else's therapy session. I didn't see the show that Lou reviewed in this post, but I imagine that I might have been glad to see it because it helped me understand better what depressed people go through. It might have helped me understand the paradoxical appeal of depression to those who are depressed, as well as the helplessness they feel.

      I imagine it would have helped me develop compassion - and therefore an improved ability to help others, to be "good" if you will - in a safe way. I go on the journey with the artists, I learn and am changed, and then I come safely home.

      Sure, there is a danger that they will not bring me safely home (and by "safely home" I do not necessarily mean a happy ending), or that I will be changed during the journey in a way that makes me uncomfortable or that I regret.

      But most of the time I am glad I went. For the most part, I am a better person when I leave the theatre than when I entered it. The risks of always staying home (and mind you, I love my home and get a lot out of puttering here by myself or with my loved ones, too! I love being at home!) are more dangerous than the risks of never going with performance artists on their journey.

      Hope Baugh
      Indy Theatre Habit

    Post a comment to this blog

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT
    1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

    2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

    3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

    4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

    5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!

    ADVERTISEMENT