Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Animals Out of Paper. It was by Rajiv Joseph and it was directed by Devon de Mayo. It was about a woman named Ilana (Cortney McKenna) who was a origami artist. She has gotten a divorce and her dog has run away. She can't fold anymore ever since her dog ran away but now she is going to teach a teenager named Suresh (Awate Serequeberhan) because there is this guy named Andy (Joseph Wiens) who convinces her to teach him. It is about loving what you do, friendship, and origami. I thought this play had a lot of unanticipated things happen it, which makes it interesting to follow.
I thought the set (by Grant Sabin) was cool. There was a shelf that became so many things. It became a bed. It became a restaurant wall. They also transform the space from a very very messy apartment to a very clean apartment. It was cool how just one person (Suresh) could pick up what looked like a whole pile of things, but it was all glued together so that he could just pick it up in one swoop. Also he would toss clothes into a ottoman from across the room. There was origami (by Christine Edison) all over the place and I thought that it was all very beautiful. I loved the orbs.
I also really liked Suresh's music (sound design and original music by Stephen Gawrit) that he listened to and also that he rapped. I thought it was super cool how they had a character rapping to make a point about origami. That is an unusual pair, but it actually worked. I liked how it included two things that he loved. I think Suresh was my favorite character. I think he was super funny and interesting. You really wanted to know his entire story. I thought the arguments he made were very cool and true about it being okay to embrace the culture of hip hop even if you aren't African American. Origami was originated by the Japanese, but it was important to everyone in the show even though none of them are Japanese. I thought that really proved the point Suresh was making that you don't need to be of a certain race to like the things that that race originated.
People who would like this show are people who like origami, hip hop, and counting your blessings. I thought that this was a very interesting and cool show. I noticed a lot about origami and about life.
Photos: Michael Brosilow