“6 Actors in Search of a Character” at the Midtown International Theatre Festival at the Davenport Theatre (Closed Monday July 27, 2015)

Written and Directed by Edward Ericsson
Reviewed by Brooke Clariday
Theatre Reviews Limited

A character is nothing more than imagination, a flick of a ballpoint pen from a playwright, and an actor who struggles to find their voice. “6 Actors in Search of a Character” attempts to be a comedy set out to prove the notion that there is no reality in theatre. But, instead, tells a random, un-relatable plot that twists and turns and leaves the audience more confused than ready to question the true nature of a play.

It’s a nod to a theatrical version of “Inception;” the idea that actors can become lost in a character, that a character can then become an actor, and that a character is nothing without words on a page. Beginning with a rehearsal of a play, moving to a scene with a dominatrix gay husband holding a whip, drunk actors after opening night, a stabbing, ending with a theatre angel taking the characters to theatre heaven, and a cliché line of “We could be on Mars and not even know it!” the existential essence of the play’s intension is lost.

But, in one moment of clarity, and the highlight of the show, Eric Ericsson succeeds at telling the story of an actress struggling to find her character. Tiffany, portrayed by Katrina Clairvoyant, is seen hearing the voice of her character for the first time. The voice, played by Risa Del Angele, helps the actress find Tiffany’s actions behind the script. The actress then morphs before the audience’s eyes, changing her body language, her voice, and becomes Tiffany, rather than an actress playing Tiffany.

“6 Actors in Search of a Character” would have more of an impact if the script had underlying consistency. Due to an overuse of edgy material, ranging from stereotyping, to racial issues in acting, dominant vs. submissive culture, and passionate violence, the play loses focus. Without a rounded script, the audience is lost searching through moments that do not tie together. Given the right knot, and more scenes like Tiffany’s transformation, the play could have the desired impact: to prove that a play is not a true portrayal of reality.