Denton — There’s a small hiccup. A note on the door says it will open at 7:45. But, it remains closed. About 20 people wait outside waiting for Sundown Collaborative Theatre to open the doors on its new show Said and Done.
The doors finally open and patrons slowly shuffle in as one young man is left to man both the selling of tickets and concessions. Management is often not worth commenting on as there’s no way to predict the flukes in life that may lead to something like a late opening and one person working box office. For a show that deals with the interminability of time, though, the situation is just a bit ironic. Like for the characters in the show, time moved at a snail's pace, only to reach an abrupt finish at the end of a short show.
Said and Done, written by Kasey Tackett, posits that the universe has essentially ended, leaving behind six “elements”, let’s call them, paired off into naturally dichotomous duos, hashing out whose fault it is and what to do next. More or less.
These elements are unambiguously named Life (Nathan Perkins), Death (Cesar Velasco), Faith (Lindsay Harris), Science (Tashina Richardson), Nature (Kayla Williams) and Time (Timothy Green).
Despite the high-concept character names, the dialogue is good. Tackett sets these characters up as a family, which gives them another thing to talk about outside of heavy philosophical stuff. The performances, too, are spot on. Each actor has a solid grasp of the character. Death is hyper annoying, but that’s kind of the point and he’s made fun of for it. Faith is naive. Science is cold. The whole show has a fresh coat of obvious, but it still works, in part thanks to Mandy Rausch’s sure-handed direction. Now there’s someone who has grown and matured a lot in the last few years. Her involvement with Sundown is a positive thing.
Tackett’s script in generally entertaining, but it’s a pretty standard Sundown show model—one they’ve been following for years now. For a theater that creates most of its own work in house, there’s an anticipation of an impending maturation of material. There is plenty to like in the 40-minute Said and Done, but the bottom line is that it is thematically similar to many Sundown shows.
Sundown recently held its annual Mixtape collection of short performances, partly, at the Margo Jones Theater in Dallas. The show itself was uneven, but it was nice to see them attempt expand their horizons.
Breaking out of their little spot in Denton’s Greenspace, a dance studio, is a smart goal for Sundown. It started in Denton because they were all University of North Texas kids. But they’re not undergrads anymore. It’s time to take the next step. The group’s members have proven their talent and potential numerous times in seven seasons. Said and Done could not only be a positive step in that direction; the title itself could be a rallying cry for actually fulfilling the ambition and possibility they’ve shown in the past.