NUNN'S THEATER HABIT

No More Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist

Thu. March 19, 2020 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

Five Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist is the latest endeavor from Pride Films and Plays. It's a one man show presented by actor Erik Sorensen about the times of hooking up on the popular website before it's personal ads were cancelled.

Playwright Sam Ward based the show off his past experiences and adventures. He stranslates that into a prodcution that often feels like a therapy session. It's also very interactive that creates a mixed bag onstage.

When interactive shows work well they can bring an audience together. If they are game for the requests from the actor in the role, then it can be entertaining to watch a participant create content on the spot. It can also go off the rails if the volunteer tries to take over the show. At one point in the show I attended. Sorensen was distracted by the audience member and had to get back on track with the script.

He didn't seem to connect with the character completely and the play might work better if actors were encouraged to insert their own experiences or can find a common ground to relate more with the material.

When Encounters does work with drawing the audience in and engaging us in the stories, it truly succeeds in what it's meant to do. Craigslist led to many stories from the LGBT community that could possibly make a hundred shows in the future. I wanted to tell stories about finding my past roommates on Craigslist, but I will save that for my own show.

Five Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist is currently postponed, but should bounce back quickly being a one man show and there's plenty of room to distance each other in the cozy theater. Visit PrideFilmsandPlays.com or call 773-857-0222 for more information.

Middletown recently was shuttered at The Apollo Theater because of the health crisis, but I am glad I had the opportunity to meet and interview several of the stars. I hope the show and many like it can return to Chicago. There's a need for smart entertainment and actors that have a long time, well deserved following.

Another show I am excited about and have talked to the cast is Hit Her with the Skates at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 North Halsted St. Preview performances are planned to resume on April 21. Visit HitHerWithTheSkates.com or call 312-988-9000 for up to date information. Keep your skates on and your fingers crossed!

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