IN THE WIRE
nytheatre.com review by Don Jordan
I sit inside Collective Unconscious
transfixed to a computer screen roughly 10’x15’ in size that delivers
information through email and image projection. Dance music provides the
background for this romp through technology, and I find myself admiring
the way the music and projections have brought me into this theatrical
world. I’m at the New York International Fringe Festival, where In
the Wire, written by Joshua Putnam Peskay and directed by his
brother Matthew Peskay, promises to de-mystify the technological
adventure of email through high-speed routers, super-secure Psychromoft,
and the hopping Cisco Disco.
August 15, 2002
The intention and energy behind this new production is to be commended and the ensemble cast clearly enjoys their task, yet I mostly spend my time waiting for the stage-play to be as interesting as the projected computer-play. That’s not to say there are no interesting bits within the stage-play itself. For example, the creative use of an actor carrying another actor on his back to represent an attachment or virus becomes a clever piece of humor, and the ultimate location, the Cisco Disco, is a fun culmination of events in which to leave the audience.
Ultimately, I like the idea of this production, but struggle to find a coherent argument or message in its eleven scenes. Inasmuch as each scene more or less represents another step in the email’s journey to its final destination, at these stops the three characters representing the email (or information packets) must be sent in the right direction (or next hop). The struggle to learn this singular piece of information serves as the stumbling block in each scene. But after several repetitions, this notion becomes more sketch comedy than play structure. Despite the lack of this normally expected element, I had a relatively good time, and hope that the creators of In the Wire view this as an opportunity for more exploration on their own journey in the future.