Maple & Vine
Members of every generation have longed for the alleged simplicity of an earlier era, but the technologically driven nature of our modern world has brought a renewed appeal to the daydream of ditching the digital age. One particular grievance even alleges that the abbreviated tweets constituting online communication are degrading the essence of person-to-person interaction. In playwright Jordan Harrison's Maple & Vine, for example, the central couple has become so addicted to their digital habits that they can hardly relate on any meaningful, personal level. Though professionally prosperous, the couple chooses to save their marriage by swerving off the grid, exchanging contemporary existence for membership in the SDO (Society of Dynamic Obsolescence), an isolated community devoted to living in strict accordance with 1950s cultural standards. Conformity can be difficult to maintain, of course, especially when it requires an embrace of socially mandated bigotry. Thankfully, the watchful presence of the Committee of Authentication keeps dissenters in check. If the whole setup seems a bit surreal, it's entirely by design, as Harrison's satiric script revives a Twilight Zone-worthy premise with enough absurdist humor to lighten the weighty social themes. Receiving its local debut courtesy of Frank Theatre and overseen by the group's artistic director, Wendy Knox, Maple & Vine is a timely reminder to always read the full disclosure before trading an imperfect present for an idealized past. (Photo by Tony Nelson)
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Oct. 11. Continues through Oct. 27, 2013
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