The creators of Art of Facing Fear are at it again with another digital masterpiece. @os_satyros
By: Ricky and Dana Young-Howze
São Paulo, Brazil
We’ve always been railing at the idea of the “new normal” because what part of this fresh hell is normal? However if we dared to imagine what would this new normal look like? Well one Brazilian theatre company, Cia Os Satyros, is asking the same question with “Novos Normais” or New Normal.
I couldn’t count the entire cast but it definitely a large cohort of actors are brought together to show us vignettes about what this new normal will look like. How will we interact with each other. What will we do? What has gone wrong or regressed? They paint with broad strokes and over the course of an hour you’ll cover a wide range of territory.
The use of montage and repetition were really effective and I applaud the coordination that it took to make it happen. I also appreciated the machine gun precision of every scene. They made the exact point that they were going for and got out for the next one. I also found the general sense of malaise and uncertainty palpable in every action. It reminded me of the uncertainty that we have in our lives in the states. I wish that the unifying factor that binds us all together wouldn’t be uncertainty and insecurity but alas here we are.
The words of the day in shows like these are “theme” and “texture”. Everything comes at you rapid fire and “realism” jumped out of the car into the ditch a long time ago. Scenes start bombarding you like trucks on the road and as they whizz by you get this wind that almost bowls you over. Another way to put it is that it’s not about what you see and hear that is important, it’s what stays with you as it passes by. I found this really important as we made our way through the first few scenes and into the meat of the show.
There were a few things that an American audience might not quite grasp but I found very refreshing. A very colonizing mindset that Americans look for is this idea that everything should have this “internal” logic that moves the story forward. I liked that this play didn’t have a “through line” but expanded and expounded on ideas so you could see how things evolved over time. The second thing that I found refreshing was nudity handled in a way that lacked prurience or shock value. It was just another brush to paint this theatrical picture with, not a way to be edgy or differentiate yourself from the more family friendly audiences. I have seen fully clothed kisses onstage that creeped me out way more than this. (Note: I know that there are probably a million American theatre companies that treat nudity with just as much respect. We just haven’t reviewed any so…email us?)
We’ve been wishing for the end of all this mess so much that we’ve forgotten to ask what the cost was. Or what life would be like afterwards. We don’t want to live in this world but what world are we building to escape to? Thank you to Cia Os Satyros for holding the mirror up to nature but also giving us a peek at the path we’re headed down and asking us where we want to be at the end.
To learn more about the show and the company go here.