Itching for some avant-garde theater? Obsidian Art Space has you covered. For those that like their performance art a little dirty, the visual and performing arts haven will soon be premiering Motel Tropicana -- A Series of Adult No-Tells.
Rather than being a one-play deal, Motel Tropicana is actually made up of 10 short plays, each compartmentalized in a "seedy motel room" -- each with its own kinky little twist. Try this short on for size: A pair of aliens has replicated into human form, and now they must decide whether our beloved planet should be preserved or eradicated. Creepy, right? Well, according to Obsidian managing director Leighza Walker, that's exactly the point.
"We didn't want a bunch of neat, cute [stories]," said Walker. Walker serves in three roles at Obsidian, first as the aforementioned managing director, then as co-artistic director of Big Head Productions, the art space's in-house production company ("We do what we want," their website slogan reads.), and finally, as a resident playwright.
"We wanted a little bit of edge."
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Edge, indeed, as each short play in the lineup bills its provocation through title alone. There is the tensely named "Piercing the Skin," the cheeky-sounding "Afternoon Delight," the possibly politically incorrect "Jesus Saves," plus seven others that sound just as in-your-face. Motel Tropicana has been in the production stage for a year, with 10 writers from all over the country contributing to each of the 10 shorts (including our very own Abby Koenig, who wrote "Worst Part, This Conversation"). Six directors, Walker included, are on hand to bring the separate plays together together into a cohesive package.
Since it opened in 2010, Obsidian Art Space has quickly grown to become one of the city's go-to places for cult theater, and with upcoming plays like The Tempest, Magdalene and The Coitus Plays taking up space on the yearly marquee, it's easy to see what makes the theater so cutting-edge. (We actually named it the Best New Arts Venue of 2011.) "To me, theater is about not only being entertained, but expanding your mind and seeing other viewpoints," Walker said.
"When you leave the theater, it should feel like your brain has exploded."
Motel Tropicana-A Series of Adult No-Tells opens Thursday, January 19 and will continue until February 4. For more information about dates and ticket prices, contact Obsidian Art Space at 832-889-7837.