BEHIND CLOSED DOORS (Speakeasy 932): A triumph of the theatrical imagination

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The closed door: Speakeasy 932 outside 520 Juniper Street.

Walking into BEHIND CLOSED DOORS at a residence on Juniper Street on a Monday evening seems like an odd practice in the world of theater. However, odd practice or not, Speakeasy 932 held a large crowd that evening and posed an interesting and unique way to discover what could really happen behind the closed door of that white picket fenced household. This evening was not just filled with the story of one mind; rather, it included 7 dynamically different tales from 5 different playwrights: Joshua Walker, Taj Rauch, Steven Primero, Savannah Souza, and Annelise Lipowitz.

Let’s make it easier to understand. As an audience member, you are invited into the residence on Juniper Street, and are told to explore whichever way you like, (all the ushers tell you is that there are 7 performances.) You are not given a playbill, or a map, so the identity of the actors and locations remain unknown. When they say explore, they mean it. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS happened on 5 different levels of the household in different rooms. From bathrooms to backyards and even basements, it took well over an hour to get to see all of the plays.

The entire evening was a thought provoking production. The idea was a clever premise executed wonderfully. The highlights of the evening would have to include an eye opening play by Savannah Souza, performed in a bathroom, giving a glimpse of the difficulties a transgender male struggles with everyday in what appeared to be his morning routine. One of the other highlights has to be a look into the lives of the stars of a gay webcam porn show, performed with bravery and transparency by two stellar actors and written by Steven Primero.

The evening was truly an eye opening production. The cast and creative team put on an amazing show, as the plays were on a loop for 2 hours, they never lost steam. I even saw one show twice, and it was just as thrilled as the first time I saw it. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS set a new precedence in Philadelphia theatre. It wasn’t just a show, it was an unforgettable and enticing experience. The evening proved that BEHIND CLOSED DOORS you will find Speakeasy 932, a company that has just crashed into Philadelphia with a promise of powerful theatre.

[Speakeasy 932, 520 S. Juniper Street] October 26, 2015; facebook.com/speakeasy932

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About the author

Nicholas Ryan

Nicholas Ryan is an experienced actor and director; he has won several awards for his stage work including the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award. He attends college in pursuit of a BFA in Theatre Directing at the University of The Arts right here in Philadelphia.