Stopped Bridge of Dreams
John Jesurun's multimedia work may be more effective online than in the theater.
As a result, the action -- or inaction, as the case may be -- is photographed throughout by cameras behind scrims at each end of the corridor-like playing area and also from other, sometimes overhead, sometimes under chin angles.
Furthermore, because the eight-member cast is augmented by varying guests such as theater stalwarts John Kelly and Judith Malina -- who are encouraged to bring their own spontaneous notions to the enterprise -- any segment of the growing script isn't the same from day to day.
As for the basic (hour-long) story, conversations occur between a character known as Mrs. X (Black-Eyed Susan, whispering her dialogue so that some audience members called for her to speak up) and her son Hiroshi (Preston Martin). Mostly, though, they banter while languidly fanning themselves at the opposite ends of something resembling a ping pong table.
As it turns out, Jesurun has been inspired by Lady Sarashina's As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, the 11th-century tale of a reclusive, story-obsessed woman. In adapting it, he's imagined that Mrs. X and Hiroshi are the proprietors of a jet that only lands infrequently while serving as a bordello for its passengers. Prominently aboard with them are Claire (Claire Buckingham), a prostitute; Eisenhower (Ikechukwu Ufomadu), a mechanic who's prospered; and young Olive (Olive Dawley), who, like Lady Sarashina, is fascinated by tales.
In addition, on two swiveling screens hung above the players, previously videotaped talking heads (Buck Henry, Valerie Charles and Fiona Templeton sometimes among them) turn up. Alternatively, images appear of clouds and what seems to be exhaust and the nose of a jet heading for a lighted night-time runway.