Best Performance by Out-of-Towners (2003)

Charlie Victor Romeo, Collective: Unconscious

Suspense on stage is difficult to achieve. But New York's Collective: Unconscious succeeded with its play Charlie Victor Romeo. The title refers to a plane's black box, or cockpit voice recorder. The theater group took public-domain transcripts of plane crashes and staged the scenes with a cockpit mock-up. Before each of the six scenes, title slides indicated the flight information and reason for disaster. The exceptional sound design established the pressurized cabin environment with such accuracy that you could actually feel your ears pop, and a feeling of doom gripped you and didn't let go. The actors treated the material with respect and restraint, letting the transcripts speak for themselves. It was a panicky wild ride of a show.


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