Oct. 31--Attack Theatre is letting the audience in on a little secret.
The imaginative dance troupe has shared spaced in the Pittsburgh Opera headquarters for the past four years, and often performed there. But few people know that it also rented small studios nearby, just across 25th Street on Liberty Avenue in the Strip District, for when space in the opera headquarters is hard to schedule.
"We used to call it our secret rehearsal space," says company co-director Michele de la Reza, "but it won't be secret anymore."
The company will present its new show in its hideaway, which is so small it seats only 65 people.
Attack Theatre will present 10 performances of "The Chalk Line" starting Nov. 1 at its Spring Way Studios, 2515 Liberty Ave.
Attack Theatre's publicity materials refer to drawing and erasing the line between audience and performers, imagination and reality. But the chalk line that matters most concretely for this show is the one drawn around a body at a murder scene.
"This is a work which originally reflected on those addictive late-night reruns of crime dramas," says de la Reza. "How many times have we seen the same episode of 'Law & Order?' They keep running them, so, someone must be watching them."
She notes these shows are formulaic. There's usually a murder in the first two minutes. The interest of these shows is in the discovery of who did it and what led to the crime.
"Our theatrical interest is more in a poetic look at the emotions and circumstances behind these actions," says de la Reza. "We dig deeper into the emotional life of the characters. Our interest is to be less concrete but to provide choreographic scenes and clues that help the audience want to engage."
"The Chalk Line" is for five dancers and one musician. One of the characters is still being developed.
"He's the character who draws with the chalk, and dances, too. He has a bit of the observer about him, or perhaps his machinations control the show," say de la Reza. "I feel like he manifests what the audience feels. Perhaps the audience and the producer at the same time."
The music for "The Chalk Line" has many elements. Some pieces are well-known music, picked because they will evoke a very clear emotion or place. The musician on stage will be harmonica player Stu Braun, whose musical interludes are influenced by folk music.
Mark Kanny is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7877 or email@example.com.
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