Ixion wraps up season with a humorous and engaging collection of shorts


Ixion Ensemble Theatre concludes another strong season of new, original and challenging works with “Let’s Fight,” an energetic, kinesthetic and humorous collection of nine 10-minute plays that revolve around conflict. Directed by Rose Jangmi Cooper, with assistance from Ny’Kieria Blocker and very competent stage management by Molly Woods, this show is fun, entertaining and, every once in a while, might make you think. 

I must admit I was a bit leery of a production featuring unfamiliar playwrights, and after a tough week, I had to drag myself in. I also must say that if a piece of work is 10 minutes long, it should be called a sketch, not a play. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything 10 minutes long that I could call a play, even if it was written by Samuel Beckett.  

Imagine how pleasantly surprised I was, then, to view this funny, engaging, well-selected and paced collection of shorts. The scenes were organized logically, increasing in complexity as each vignette led to the next. The cast was cohesive and well-rehearsed, and the scene changes were dispatched speedily.  

Each “play” was bookended by sharp and eye-catching graphics, designed by Michelle Harvey Hill, that were projected onto four TV screens. Since Ixion almost always has a videographer in the cast or crew, I would like to see those TVs used even more in the future, perhaps to augment the rather sparse sets at Stage One. I’ve often sat in that space and wondered why no one wants to use those TV sets, so kudos to Ixion for grasping the opportunity. 

I’m always resistant to giving away secrets, tricks and surprises in a show, and I rarely write anything other than a very bare plot synopsis when I’m reviewing a single play, but to adequately discuss nine separate and unique presentations would take more space than I’m afforded here. With the space I have left, I’d like to discuss some of the outstanding performances I saw. I won’t be able to mention each actor involved, but rest assured I was quite satisfied with the efforts of every cast member. Their voices were clear and easy to understand, and their acting choices were bold and interesting. 

Let’s begin with the final scene, “Not Part of the Choreography,” by Heath Sartorius. It featured very strong work by Rich Kopitsch and Ann Carlson, who were quite excellent in a technically, physically and emotionally demanding scene that was also very funny.   

“Kortal Mombat,” by Adam Carlson, started off light but got darker and darker as it progressed. It featured the previously mentioned televisions in an exciting and interesting way, along with a very humorous video game controller conceit.   

The most outstanding of all the scenes was “Fighting Mr. Right,” by Barbara Lindsay. Funny, warm and engaging, the honest performances by Maureen Sawdon and Dillon Smith were outstanding. Smith truly impressed with his comic timing and unhurried, natural delivery.  



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