'pool (no water)' Opens in Adams Pool Theatre

February 14-16, 8 p.m.

Written by Mark Ravenhill

Directed by Joshua McTaggart '13

Produced by Simon De Carvalho '14 and David Manella '14

“pool (no water)” is an unconventional drama that is meant to be slightly different each time it is performed. Opening in Adams Pool Theater on Thursday and directed by Joshua R. McTaggart ’13, a Crimson arts editor, “pool (no water)” is not told as a linear narrative but through the recollections of the actors as they act out past events.

The story blurs the line between past and present as the actors narrate the breakup of five artists after one actor becomes famous and invites her four colleagues to her enormous home. The climax of the plot centers around an empty swimming pool, which makes the Adams Pool Theatre the perfect venue.

“It’s unlike a lot of scripted shows in that it pushes the actors and the director to make a majority of the decisions,” actor Alistair A. Debling ’16 says. Though there are five characters, there are only four actors in the cast. The fifth character is created through description and referenced by the other actors; the very existence of this fifth person is dependent on the actors themselves. “There aren’t even stage directions—essentially it reads just like a piece of narration of a story,” said Debling.

The play is written as a long piece of text which leaves much of the interpretation to the director and actors; it is at their discretion to divide the block of text into individual lines for each actor. For McTaggart, this play is different from the previous productions he has directed; this show is meant to change with each new cast that performs it. “This piece is written as an ensemble piece…what I’m really trying to encourage and foster in this.... is letting [the actors] play and then I kind of jump in and fix,” said McTaggart.

According to actor John L. Pizzato ’16, “pool (no water)” is not about the story. “What really it’s about is these four artists remembering this information, remembering this story, processing it, and kind of transforming it into an art piece in real time for the audience as they’re performing it.”

—Staff writer Bryan S. Erickson can be reached at berickson@college.harvard.edu.

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