The new show at The Tank, T. B. Sheets, is a wild ride of self-discovery. It takes place on a mountain sanatorium for tuberculosis patients. Set at the moments when the victims, at least the rich victims, were forced to relax as they were too weak to do much besides smoke, sleep outside and dance.
|L-R: Lori Parquet and Moira Stone in Buran Theatre’s T.B. Sheets. Photo by Kate Schroeder|
We are introduced to the retreat and the residents by the entrance of a new patient, played by Moira Stone. She has arrived from the valley below, unwilling to fully believe she is sick, trying to hide her coughing fits and uncomfort - both physical and social.
The retreat itself is home to a dizzying array of characters, seven other inhabitants, plus the doctor. We are told immediately that the doctor’s methods are unorthodox, and he fulfills that expectation fully. The doctor (played impeccably by Daniel Allen Nelson) initiates the arrival by way of an interview in which random words have been transposed, meaning is hinted at, physical intimacy is introduced and then doctor disappears.
The guests pass the time with dance, discussion and growing intimacy, both intellectual and sensual. This is conveyed by movement, dance, discussion and music. The intimacy of others opening the participants to intimacy of themselves.
|L-R: Brady Blevins & Danny Brave in Buran Theatre’s T.B. Sheets. Photo by Kate Schroeder|
It the second half, Amelia Earhart arrives via crash landing, but discovers her true self here in the love of two women. The final hypnotic member is the ghost of one who has passed, brought to movement and live by Maybe Burke. They dance and move through the sets, seen only by the audience and the new arrival – haunting and haunted.
If this sounds fascinating, then T. B. sheets is the show for you. It is a lyrical and conceptual look at self-discovery and fulfillment through openness.
If this sounds like nonsensical tripe, then avoid T. B. Sheets like the plague it addresses. It is a show which very much depends on the viewers’ ability to go with the non-linear flow of the moment and the joy of a caress.
Writer / Director Adam R. Burnett and Co-Director / Choreographer Lisa Nevada have built a diaphanous structure that is held together by the audiences’ joy and wonder. It will not work for everyone, but the audience I saw it with loved it.
T. B. Sheets | Playwright / Co-Director: Adam R. Burnett | Choreographer / Co-Director: Lisa Nevada | Cast: Moria Stone, Maybe Burke, Lori Elizabeth Parquet, Nahassaiu DeGannes, Danny Brave, Daniel Allen Nelson, Tina Shepard, Yuki Kawashia, Brady Belvins, Colleen O’Neill