Chinese Nobel Laureate and political dissident Gao Xingjian’s 1986 play, “The Other Shore,” focuses on the quest for spiritual enlightenment as well as the necessary yet problematic connection that binds humans together. Halcyon Theatre Ensemble approaches the script with a committed enthusiasm and fluid pacing that keeps the movement-oriented piece clipping along.
“The Other Shore’s” series of vignettes demonstrate the constant struggle of the individual against the collective consciousness; the audience sees men and women chafe against society’s attitudes towards sex, peer pressure, government and faith. Clunky translations aside, the play effectively explores issues we clash with everyday.
Jenn Adams’ direction prevents the cast from indulging in “bad Godspell” insincerity that could drag the production down; Tony Adams’ lighting and sound design complements the stripped-down set. Ensemble standouts include Danny Taylor, Kristine Wakefield, Samantha Garcia and Irene Kapustina, who invest Gao’s bare-bones language with appealing humor and tenderness. (Lisa Buscani)
At Lincoln Square Arts Center in the Barry United Methodist Church, 4754 N. Leavitt, (312) 458-9170. Through February 21.