Dallas — In The Escape Plan at the Dallas Solo Fest, Vincent Mraz attempts to talk with the audience about his daydream of running away from everything and doing something unusual. He begins with an interesting and well-written profile of the industries of Charles and David Koch, who are more commonly referred to in America as “the Koch brothers.” Mraz utilizes retro style visual aids (easels with pictographs), paper cups, and a suitcase of apples. This first section is the most coherent part of the piece. From that point the piece transitions disjointedly, arriving unexpectedly at a Q&A segment.
In an earlier interview with TheaterJones, Mraz describes his style as experimental and sometimes formless. The Escape Plan is interactive theater, but it is not experimental. The attempt at formlessness translates instead as randomness.
Formlessness (chaos) can be predictable to a degree, which is important in an interactive format. It is understandable why Mraz finds this interesting. The possibilities for a solo performer working in this way are intriguing and the results can be exciting. Conversely, while randomness can work in interactive theater rooted in a script, it is dicier to manage because of the unpredictability. The risk of an audience member hijacking the performance is real (yes, that almost happened on Thursday). In this instance, the attempt at formlessness is not particularly successful primarily because the original thesis gets lost.
The Escape Plan has good elements and is worth the investment of time to create a more stable space for theatrical gameplay for Mraz and for the audience.
The Escape Plan continues with the following performances:
- 3pm | Sunday, June 12
» Read our interview with Vincent Mraz
» Click here to see our listing for The Escape Plan
» To see a full schedule of shows, go here
» See our DSF special section for more interviews, reviews and more