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'A Pinter Kaleidoscope' offers immersive audience experience

Emory Report | Oct. 27, 2014

Theater Emory's "A Pinter Kaleidoscope" — an immersive theatrical experience in which audience members, led by actors, stand and walk for 75 minutes over stages, stairs, hallways and outdoors — runs Oct. 31 through Nov. 9 in the Mary Gray Munroe Theater.

"A Pinter Kaleidoscope" is the concluding event for Pinter Fest, a semester-long celebration of late British playwright Harold Pinter. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2005, Pinter was known for his searing political commentary; his funny, brutal plays on modern life; and his riveting silences.

From Pinter's first play, "Room," to the totalitarian nightmare of "One for the Road," the devised theater event of "A Pinter Kaleidoscope" moves the audience through various locations within the theater space, touring them through selections from "The Birthday Party," "The Hothouse," "The Caretaker," and other selections of Pinter's plays, poems, and speeches.

"Pinter's works collide at the intersection of communication and confinement. The characters within speak brilliantly, yet fail at the most basic of communications," explains director and theater faculty member Brent Glenn. "They are confined. They live lives in which their happiness is subject to the whims of others, be it a spouse, a stranger, or the state."

"A Pinter Kaleidoscope" presents a foreboding world with scenic design by Jane Garver alongside sound, lighting and special effects by the director. "Our tour through the inner recesses of the theater is intended to be a swirling snapshot, a cacophony, of these many voices, one in which we have created a somewhat more literal sense of confinement" says Glenn.

Audience members are advised that some areas will be dark and the performance includes strong language suitable for mature audiences only. Attendees must arrive at least 10 minutes before show time for lineup and group assignments; no one will be admitted once the show begins.

Despite the ominous overtones of a production exploring totalitarian oppression, "A Pinter Kaleidoscope" will not be void of Pinter's trademark dark humor. "Some people find this stuff funny," says Glenn. "I certainly do."

Theater Emory presents "A Pinter Kaleidoscope" Oct. 31-Nov. 1 and Nov. 5-8 at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and Nov. 2 and Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 general admission, $16 discount category members, $6 Emory students and are available at the Arts at Emory Box Office at 404-727-5050 or arts.emory.edu.

Other remaining Pinter Fest events include three installments of the Pinter Staged Reading Series, all free and held in the theater lab of the Schwartz Center: "The Dumbwaiter" (Nov. 1, 5 p.m.), "The Caretaker" (film screening, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.) and "A Kind of Alaska" and "Family Voices," (Nov. 8, 7 p.m.)

"Pinter Visions: A Symposium of the Work, Art and Politics of Harold Pinter" is set for Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 in the Schwartz Center theater lab. The weekend includes conversation, performance and screenings with Pinter scholars, playwrights, directors, performers and Emory faculty.

Visit Theater Emory for more information. Visit Pinter Fest for a list of all events and to register to attend remaining events.