Review by Raechel Lombardo Of “In the Night Time”: Know Theatre
Ostensibly, Know Theatre‘s “In the Night Time (Before the Sun Rises),” by Nina Segal, is a play; it certainly has all of the characteristics and structure of one. It follows the hypothetical, every day circumstances, and very personal lives, of a man and a woman who have a love story—somewhat conventional or unconventional, depending on how you interpret it—and ultimately have a child. In order to tell this story, however, it has a unique, almost poetic, speech and tone to it. For this reason, I would argue “In the Night Time” is more an incredible performance of a poem–and a poem whose poetic elements of tone, wording, and metaphors weren’t just in the lines and acting, but in the totality of what was put into this production.
Playwright Nina Segal made a bold choice in writing this multi-formatted love child of written and performative art, representing the strange way we feel as people trying to figure ourselves out and this messed-up world, and I applaud the journey.
Director Brant Russell tackled this interestingly abstract script in such a fantastic way, allowing the audience to feel all the overwhelming senses you may feel when going through such a crazy, poetic, existential crisis. A tip of the hat to Resident Stage Manager Meghan Winter for sticking with the vision and supporting it, as I do not doubt it was often an enigma and quest to discover. And thanks for dealing with the messy apartment!
Scenic and Lighting Designer Andrew J. Hungerford was surely a great collaborative force to orchestrate the vision of the space and how it, too, should echo the meaning of the poetry.
And don’t think I didn’t notice your handiwork, Costume Designer Noelle Wedig-Johnston. If the saddening dialogue and dystopic environment wasn’t enough, her direction in worn clothing allowed us to fully buy this as the reality the characters have endured, whether taken in a literal or metaphorical sense.
Elizabeth Chinn Molloy, who plays the role of Woman, is a truthful perspective of the fiery power women have inside them, while also having to occasionally set that aside and not realize it fully due to circumstances. I find her rather captivating, and she certainly set the stage in how she defined her character’s existence.
Brandon Burton, who plays the role of Man, is also a nicely paired truthful perspective of the honest fear and doubt men aren’t allowed to show, and the boyish charm and controlling privilege they often hide behind. I find his honesty a relief, and appreciated the synergy he developed with his fellow actor’s energy to complete the overall fear we all feel.
Sound and Projection Designer Doug Borntrager is tasteful in his use of the signature baby sound and simply defining the shift in poetic dialogue or chapter.
Technical Director Henry Bateman executed the vision of the designers and director; this, as everything else, clicked for me, truly making the production a mutually collaborative process.
Kudos to Props Master and Paint Charge Kayla Williams and Props and Paint Artist Kara Trusty for not only the perfect selection of objects in quantity and quality, but for the idea of the apartment space being in chaos as an intentional execution rather than just thrown about. Once again, the collaboration to work with such a unique script and tackle the beast was well done.
If you’re looking for something that breaks away from the usual plot-based structure of a play, something a little more abstract, something with various things to say and various ways to say it, take a look at “In the Night Time (Before the Sun Rises)” at the Know Theatre, running until Fe