DISSEVER MY SOUL (Lone Brick): 2015 Fringe review 15

disseverWe parked somewhat illegally and stumbled towards forms of people and the buildings of Historic Rittenhouse Town on Lincoln Drive. A gentleman in an old-fashioned suit beckoned us, silently and creepily—we were in for some “immersive theater.” So it began: Edgar Allan Poe (the title, DISSEVER MY SOUL, comes from his famous poem “Annabel Lee”) gave us each a letter determining where “the shadows” (cast members dressed in black) would take us for the evening. The scale was huge: fifteen people separated at random and led around extensive grounds, in the dark, with everyone ending up in the same place.

For twenty minutes DISSEVER MY SOUL was captivating: eerie scenes of corpses rising from the dead unfolding in silence, entering a room to find a man chained… and you have the key. Lone Brick Theatre, a company of Widener University students, created some haunting moments, and a memorable experience in total. Jared Bernatowicz, “that guy in the bowler hat,” scared the beejeezus out of everyone. But the tour lasted two and half hours, over an hour longer than billed, with very little spoken word. It lacked focus, or focused way too much on silent scenes of men and women stumbling, weeping, and screaming about in a forest. Cut down to an hour or so, sprinkled with more and better-quality Poe recitations, and given a vaguely clear plotline, DISSEVER MY SOUL would be an incredible Fringe offering. [Historic Rittenhouse Town, 208 Lincoln Drive] September 4-19, 2015; fringearts.com/dissever-my-soul.

One Reply to “DISSEVER MY SOUL (Lone Brick): 2015 Fringe review 15”
  1. Your review was spot on. The event venue was difficult to find if one is not familiar with philly. participants should be advised to wear appropriate foot ware. Brighter and more Downward lighting of the lanterns is necessary as the ground is uneven with a couple of obstacles. I would love to attend again if some changes were made. The cast did a great job ..a bit unnerving at times but certainly an interesting event worthy of the fringe. There was obviously a large amount of work and coordination involved in this. It is ,hopefully, a work in progress

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