“Indivisible” – iTheatre Collaborative

This review aired on KBAQ March 22, 2010


iTheatre Collaborative, Herberger Theater Center
Phoenix, AZ

The new play “Indivisible” by Taylor Doherty, is a fascinating mind game. Its Northern America premiere at iTheatre Collaborative is an impressive production.

Set in a bland, hospital-like location, the room has four beds with minimal furniture and no decorations except for two doors that are locked and unlocked at various times. The only break in the back wall is a small opening where meager amounts of food show up occasionally.

As the play begins, Adam wonders where he is. Occasionally, another person arrives. Most have been in an isolation ward and stumble through one of the doors when it unlocks. As the crowd grows, Doherty’s script examines the group dynamic as various people attempt to lead while others seem content to fall into the pack.

Strange alliances occur and loyalties shift. Some people last awhile, others disappear for various reasons and because of pressures brought by the others. Some bargain for their positions with various things they have like books or food. The group dynamic evolves as the situations and people change, leadership changes, but the drive to survive always wins.

An intriguing character study, the play is articulate, well developed, and, based on some things that happen, scary and terrorizing. People’s reactions or what lies ahead is never known but people aren’t predicable.

If the script has a weakness, it’s that much of it consists of short, choppy scenes that give it an episodic feel. This method could be intentional, though, to emphasize these characters circumstances.

iTheatre Collaborative mounts an imposing production. There’s little to hold your attention other than reactions to the situations but they are enthralling. The ensemble acts with stellar determination and director Charles St. Clair lets each actor develop and shade each character. The production uses multi-media in that a controlled television provides disturbing images that haunt some while it instructs others in what they can expect and what they can do. The play implies that a controlling bureaucracy might lead this happening, a conclusion that’s never answered.

“Indivisible” won’t be for everyone. Those that like light entertainment won’t appreciate it and even those who enjoy good dramas might wonder why more answers aren’t provided. What the playwright creates are questions about life, our existence, and our purpose. While no answers are provided, the potential answers leave you paralyzed about what the wrong people could do to society. “Indivisible” continues through March 27. For tickets, call the iTheatre Collaborative box office at 602-347-1071 or go online at www.itheatreaz.org.

Grade: B