If Pixar did theatre...

Posted on February 4, 2014 by Basement

Wall-E, had been out for a while before a love note attached to an umbrella left on my doorstep convinced me to finally see it. I don’t think I moved a muscle during that film, at certain parts I’m sure that I barely breathed, and (as embarrassing as it is to admit it) I inexplicably cried like a baby as the credits rolled. Pixar man…they do good stuff…Which brings me to Ben Anderson and the artists of, The People Who Play With Theatre. I have to say it folks, for this blogger they might just be the Pixar of The Basement season. How so? Here’s how.

“Just Above The Clouds”, is not only visually yummy, but it is also intelligently plotted, quirky as hell, heart stirring, and handy with humor that is just on the great side of corny. On top of that, it’s flat out excellent theatre. Anderson, could have easily done what so many playwrights do and made it a play between two leads (albeit in a dreamscape) supported by an interesting ensemble. However, he brilliantly incorporated those puppets and in doing so added a depth of layers that made the experience all the richer for it’s audience. The existence of the puppets coupled with the energy and focus that the actors give them takes “Just Above The Clouds” from not only being a beautifully imaginative piece of theatre but an important one as well. This is the kind of theatre that I am going to reference anytime I am trying to make an argument for why theatre being created today is still viable in a world of 3D films and IMAX Movie Theaters.

Look, I could nerd out for paragraphs on all the ways seeing “Just Above The Clouds” inspired me tonight; not only as an artist (seriously, anyone into creating “experimental & ensemble driven” theatre, buy a ticket), but also as a person. However, let me wrap this up by simply saying that you should catch the show because The People Who Play With Theatre, man…they do good stuff.

-DG