"Rorschach Fest" at Open Fist Theatre Company

"Rorschach Fest" at Open Fist Theatre Company

Open Fist celebrates 30 years of risk-taking theater with this mini-festival of work by four iconic playwrights. 

LOS ANGELES: Perception is everything. Open Fist Theatre Company opens its 30th anniversary season with three programs of short works, performed in repertory, by playwrights renowned for pushing theatrical boundaries. Rorshach Fest  features seminal work by John O'Keefe, Daniel MacIvor, Harold Pinter and Caryl Churchill.

The Rorschach test is a psychological test in which subjects' perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex algorithms or both. According to artistic director Martha Demson, "Whether looking at an inkblot or watching a play from one of the iconic playwrights we are featuring, both reveal truths beneath the surface, truths that reflect the perspective of the viewer as much as the content provided by the playwrights."

Inkblot A, Ghosts, by John O'Keefe. An evocation of the afterlife, Ghosts premiered at San Francisco's Magic Theatre in 1981, with an LA run in 1985 that the LA Times called "a skillful blend of old-fashioned horror show and newfangled experimental theater with a fluidity that suggests—often quite literally—poetry in motion."

Inkblot B is Harold Pinter's Landscape, a compact, hypnotic portrait of loneliness and the damaged terrain of a long-term marriage, two spouses are locked in a motionless chase for each other's attention, Landscape poetically and powerfully reveals the degrees to which one can remain hopelessly unknown to their life partner. Never Swim Alone is a slyly witty, suspenseful landmark of the Canadian theater by Daniel MacIvor, Two men compete for the title of "first man" under the watchful eye of the Referee — a young woman with a secret connection to the boys these men used to be.

Inkblot C is two plays by Caryl Churchill. This Is A Chair juxtaposing momentous news headlines with scenes of everyday life to sometimes funny, sometimes chilling effect. Here We Go is an unsentimental exploration of the final stages of life and the mysterious moments that follow in the great unknown. As a group of acquaintances assemble at a funeral to recount what they remember about the deceased, he has already begun a new chapter in the after-life.

Runs Feb. 14 - April 5, Fri. 8 p.m.; Sat. 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sun. at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Mon. at 8 p.m. Inkblots A, B and C on a rotating schedule; go to www.openfist.org.