Paige Rogers returns to the Cutting Ball Theater stage with her critically acclaimed one-hander Bone to Pick. This re-imagining of the ancient Greek myth of Ariadne and the Minotaur takes place in a diner at the end of the world. Cutting Ball Playwright in Residence Eugenie Chan penned a new, lyrical companion piece Diadem about Ariadne’s early days. Together they tell a gripping love story and showcase Ms. Rogers’s remarkably diverse talents.
Bone to Pick takes place on a mostly bare stage against a back drop of smoky mirror panels. Light poles reflect in the mirrors. With a longhorn steer skull, a worn plastic chair and a mechanical cash register on the deck, Ms. Rogers plays Ria, a soiled pink waitress with bare feet and a hick accent. With her only prop a coffee pot, she mimes interactions with other characters.
She laments that there will be no more rib eye and beans because of the fighting, no more “sody crackers.” Just as she praises beans as “earthquake food,” explosions sound and the lights make blinding, gradually fading glare across the mirrors.
Ms. Rogers is immensely skilled at her earnest inhabitation of differing characters. Her description of the half-man half-bull is intensely personal. The faraway look in her eyes tells a vivid story. When she explains to Theseus her plan to give him a long thread and a sewing needle so he can find his way out of the labyrinth after he kills her brother the Minotaur, she is solely involved in an imaginary character on stage with her, bringing to life a form not seen. Her projected sense of resignation at the end gives personal insight to her equating “my world” with “my desert.”
Ms. Rogers confidently occupies the entire stage at the EXIT on Taylor theater in these two short plays of classical young love and post-modern satire. She explores the character Ariadne, as well as the myth, with loving care. The program not only gives new insights to an aged story, but it also gives her the opportunity to exhibit her bravura acting skills.
Bone to Pick and the World Premiere of Diadem .play through February 13 at the Cutting Ball Theater in residence at EXIT on Taylor, 277 Taylor Street, San Francisco. Tickets ($15 to $50) are available at www.cuttingball.com or by phone at 800.838.3006.
For more information about Diadem please visit www.DoctorTheater.com.