First Floor Theater artistic director Hutch Pimentel directs the world
premiere of Lucas Baisch’s righteously nightmarish drama of office politics
at the end of the world.
In the near future, natural resources are at a premium, and the vast
majority of humanity has apparently chosen to give up on meat space in
favor of a cloud-based and purportedly eternal existence. But at Icebox-one
of the companies that helps customers transition-some employees suspect
someone’s got a thumb on the scale.
As Benjamin, the only white male in the office, is about to ascend, his
coworkers take turns airing grievances, offering him congratulations,
sneaking in final furtive trysts, and wondering aloud about the injustices
of their respective fates.
Baisch’s play moves nimbly from comedy to splatter horror to rom-com to
tragedy and back again. William Boles’s set is reminiscent of a grubbier
and less steampunk version of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. Each cast
member has transcendent moments, with Shariba Rivers as the coldhearted,
pragmatic Mitchell a particular standout.
My one quibble is that by naming each of his characters after a major
philosopher or art historian—Roland (Barthes), (W.J.T.) Mitchell, (Linda)
Nochlin, et al—Baisch has stacked the deck in a bid for a gravitas his work
has already earned under its own steam.
This is an angry and timely piece of theater about the precarious state of
our imminent future. No academic’s obtuse theorizing is required for a deep
recognition of the point. v