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T H E A T E R   R E V I E W  -  The Mother of Modern Censorship and Gum  -  Powerhouse Theatre

        

SANTA MONICA, CA - An evening of Karen Hartmanís one act plays The Mother of Modern Censorship and Gum are presented at the Powerhouse Theatre with class and style.

The first presentation of this showcase is The Mother of Modern Censorship, directed by Tasha Ames. This office power play, set somewhere in the Middle East, centers around three woman and their jobs of censoring music. As Chief Music Censor (played to the hilt by L.Zane) and her loyal assistant Samia (Julie Lancaster) screen music for the masses, their world is turned upside down with the appearance of new employee Khadiga (Marlo Baird) and a realization presented by upper management (Richard Nason). The three women realize how important and unimportant their jobs are and where their place in society truly lie.

The acting in this one act is superb. Anyone currently working for corporations of any kind will easily identify to the actions on stage.  

   

Gum, directed by L.Zane, however did not deliver the same impact in entertainment. Gum tells the story of two extremely close sisters, also somewhere in the Middle East, who through the use of contraband gum discover that every desire has a price. Somewhere along the line, the play fell flat. Itís easy to blame the actors for not being convincing enough. Perhaps the dialogue of the playwright simply did not gel with the two sexually aroused blonde girls in the Middle East and forcing them to deal with the controversial subject of female circumcision. Shame too, because the lighting was beautiful and well designed.

As theater is also a forum to educate, Workshop 360 should be commended for bringing such drama to the stage and their goal to produce works that are challenging, provocative and socially relevant. Not every theater piece is easy to sit through. Sometimes it goes with the territory when the playwright is trying to teach the audience about what is silently ignored in times today.

Produced by Workshop 360 in association with the Powerhouse Theater, The Mother of Modern Censorship and Gum performs at the Powerhouse Theater, located at 3116 2nd Street in Santa Monica, CA. Running through May 22, 2005, performances are Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm. Admission is $ 20.00. ($15.00 for seniors and students). - Adrian Rennie   Printable View

Websites to explore

http://www.workshop360.com

http://www.newdramatists.org/karen_hartman.htm 

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Adrian Rennie, staff writer and editor for Maestro Arts & Reviews, is an actor and Los Angeles area playwright. Having received great reviews for his plays, The Seven Lessons of Life and Only a Phone Call Away, he continues to write and act in Los Angeles Theater, Television and Film. 
 

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