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      The Abduction Project
    Space cases

    Spooky is the word for "The Abduction Project," a strange collage of sight, sound and movement based on interviews with people connected with alien abductions.


    What happens in "The Abduction Project" is, um, well, let's leave that for later. There's plenty to see, hear and feel before you even need to puzzle over what's actually happening in this production by the company Collision Theory.

    The show is a collage of sight, sound and movement that is often unnerving but fascinating to watch. Six actors — actor-dancers, really — portray what can only be that old well-beaten horse, 1950s Middle America. The most striking thing about the production, I think, is the colors — the costumes, set and props are almost entirely shades of gray, white and black, signaling that we're in the black-and-white, "Father Knows Best" era. Rare bursts of color in the form of red flower petals and green spaceship lights stand out sharply and memorably.

    Directed by: Stephanie Gilman and K Tanzer.
    Cast: Randi Glass, Tsuyoshi Kondo, Jeffrey Morehouse, Gus Scharr, Sarah Tancer, K Tanzer.

    Related links: Official site
    The members of a perfect '50s family — a dad, a mom and two well-scrubbed children — move deliberately in caricatures of everyday life, but interspersed with these scenes of normalcy are scenes of confusion having to do with what we might as well think of as the plot, which is based on interviews with people in several alien-abduction organizations.

    The plot has something to do with the disappearance of two little kids in an all-American family. By now you may sense that there is little linear story, though a friend who also saw the show points out that this makes a kind of sense; if we are indeed in the '50s, it's a time when the idea of UFO abduction has not yet taken hold in the public mind, and people who experienced visitations at that time had trouble reporting just what had happened to them. Bright lights, a train, the eyes of an owl glimmering in the night, interruptions in time — these are the kinds of nebulous visions they were likely to report. And these are the kind of nebulous visions we see in the naive, black and white world of "The Abduction Project."

    Don't go to "The Abduction Project" expecting a coherent narrative. The point of the show seems to be a sensual experience, and on this level it is intriguing. The stark, gray scenes, the tense movement and the enveloping sounds transport you — maybe against your will — through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind.

    MARCH 6, 2001

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